Who we are
We create technology solutions for a more transparent, efficient and empowering future for rights owners, where artists, songwriters, publishers and labels can trust they will be paid fairly and accurately, regardless of how complex the digital world becomes. Our innovative technology includes the world's most advanced global licensing, collection and payment platform, our YouTube song matching tool Proklaim, one of the leading global digital music distribution platforms AWAL, and the award-winning real-time data and insight reporting Portal.
Kobalt Music Publishing, Kobalt Label Services and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights divisions each offer a modern alternative to the traditional music business model, empowering creators with flexible contracts, ownership, control, and total transparency. We represent over 5,000 artists and songwriters, 600,000 songs and 500 publishing companies, servicing our clients with global licensing management, works and rights distribution, royalty collection and processing, online data and royalty statements, creative services, synch & brand partnerships, record release management and marketing.
And we're fortunate to work with some of the world's greatest artists and songwriters, representing on average over 40% of the top 100 songs and albums in both the US and UK.
Why we're here
Kobalt was founded in 2000 by Willard Ahdritz. As a young Swedish entrepreneur, Willard watched the decline of the music industry with a vision for the critical role that technology could play in creating a more efficient, fair and transparent music industry. While most technology companies focused on digital music offerings for consumers, Willard was determined to create technology that better serves content creators and copyright owners.
With Willard's experience as founder of Telegram Publishing, as well as his 10-year management consulting experience in the financial and transportation sectors, he recognized how administration models from other industries, such as financial services companies, could be applied to manage the complex information flow in the global collections process.
Kobalt was originally founded as a co-investment with New Media Spark, the London listed investment group. As part of the initial arrangements, Kobalt acquired Diesel 2 Publishing and Management AB, a Swedish-based music publishing company founded in 1993 with an established music copyright catalogue, which further enhanced Kobalt's creative expertise in publishing.
In 2011, Kobalt expanded beyond technology and publishing into Label Services, creating a new music model that empowers artists with transparency, flexibility, ownership and control. The following year, Kobalt acquired AWAL, one of the leading global digital music distribution platforms. As well as added a Neighbouring Rights division to complete Kobalt's multi-rights global services offering.
"Kobalt's transparent system has re-engineered the publishing industry."
principal of 8 Mile Style Music, publisher of Eminem
"I know all that's being taken care of [by Kobalt], and whenever I need something it's done.
"I've been with Kobalt since day one. I signed because of the transparency that you could go online and constantly see your flow."
The future of music
really is this simple.
With all the choices in music today, can't artists and writers have more choices, too?
Can't the power of digital work both ways—technology serving the consumers AND the creators?