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Willard Ahdritz

Founder & CEO,
Kobalt Music
New York, NY, USA
Willard Ahdritz has changed the music industry forever. As a young Swedish tech entrepreneur in the late 90s, 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 believed that technology could also better serve content creators and copyright owners.

Willard founded Kobalt in 2000, focused on developing technology that provides artists, songwriters and copyright owners with the most transparent, efficient, fair and accurate service globally. Within a decade, Willard and his team grew Kobalt into the world’s largest independent music services company, with over 225 employees in offices around the world. Kobalt now represents over 600,000 songs, 5,000 artists and songwriters and
450 publishing companies worldwide, providing them with various services including 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 digital marketing.

Kobalt counts among its clients Maroon 5, Lenny Kravitz, Dave Grohl, Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, Paul McCartney and MPL Communications, Disney Music Group, Dr Luke, David Grey, Big & Rich, Stevie Nicks, No Doubt, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Noah Shebib, Thom Yorke, Björk, The Hives, The Lumineers, Richard Ashcroft, Kelly Clarkson, Gotye, Skrillex, Herbie Hancock, Moby, Kid Cudi, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone and the Miles Davis catalog among many others.