Willard Ahdritz is the Founder & CEO of Kobalt Music Group, the leading global independent music publisher catering to over 1500 clients worldwide. Kobalt is service-oriented, technology-based, and able to collect directly in 37 territories.
Now in operation for more than a decade, Kobalt employs a staff of 175 in seven offices worldwide and has representatives in more than 20 countries. It offers clients global copyright administration, extensive creative and synch licensing services, online account management tools including weekly balance updates, as well as low cost online pipeline advances. Kobalt’s portal allows for in-depth account analysis and royalty tracking, giving clients an opportunity to be completely involved in the process of managing their copyrights. The company continues to innovate and set new standards in the industry, its model having been embraced by a wide variety of content holders including the world’s top songwriters, artists and other music publishers.
Kobalt has signed some of today’s most important artists, writers and publishing companies such as MPL, Pearl Jam, 8 Mile Style, Disney, Dave Grohl, Gwen Stefani, Max Martin, Kid Rock, Dr. Luke, Beck, David Hodges, Kelly Clarkson, Maratone, Prescription Songs, Ryan Tedder, Moby, Tiësto, Gotye, Shellback, The Hives, Tokyo Hotel, Björk, Skrillex, Alt-J, Herbert Grönemeyer, Nine Inch Nails, Bon Iver, The Lumineers and Getty Images among many others.
From 1993 to 1999, Ahdritz was a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting in London, working primarily in the financial and transportation sectors for major companies. Combining his passion for the music business with his financial background and experience with management of complex information flows, in 2000, Ahdritz conceived Kobalt’s ground-breaking business model: a more modern, transparent and efficient collections structure designed to better service the creative and global administration needs of the songwriter and copyright holder.
A music lover and saxophone player, Ahdritz has more than 15 years of music publishing experience. He founded Telegram Records and Publishing in 1986 and ran it until 1991, signing notable songwriters such as Magnus Frykberg, Titiyo, Rob n Raz, Leila K and Papa Dee. Telegram was one of the most successful music start-ups in Sweden, putting Stockholm on the map as a creative hub.