'More opportunities for growth than ever before': Rob Stringer to head up new combined Sony Music Group

Rob Stringer

Sony will bring together its recorded music and music publishing operations under the new Sony Music Group umbrella – and Rob Stringer will run the new company.

In an internal memo obtained by Music Week, Sony Corp president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida says Stringer will become chairman in addition to his current role as CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. New chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Jon Platt, will now report to Stringer, although the memo stresses that Platt will “retain the authority and responsibility he currently has with respect to the operation of the music publishing business”.

Yoshida says the strategic move will help Sony “increase collaborations across its entertainment units, be closer to creators and unlock more strategic opportunities”.

“The rise of streaming services alongside other changes in the market has transformed our music business and created more opportunities for growth than ever before,” he added. “As a result, we felt it was particularly important at this juncture for Sony to take proactive steps to sustain its leadership position in the music industry by accelerating the collaboration and value creation between our world-class recorded music and music publishing businesses to strengthen our value to artists, songwriters and business partners.”

The move is a ringing endorsement of 2014 Strat Award winner Stringer, who took on the SME CEO role in 2017 and has strengthened the company’s recorded music position with a string of hits.

“I have the utmost respect and trust in Rob and Jon who are outstanding leaders with enormous industry expertise and have the strong support of their employees, artists and songwriters,” said Yoshida. “Working together, and with your help, I am confident they will lead Sony Music Group to a new level of success, remaining the world’s most artist and songwriter-friendly music company, and further strengthening and securing our legacy for the future.”

The new structure takes effect on August 1, although Sony Music Entertainment Japan will remain a separate entity.

You can read the full memo below:

Dear Colleagues,

As part of Sony’s business goals to increase collaborations across its entertainment units, be closer to creators and unlock more strategic opportunities, I’d like to inform you that effective August 1, we are bringing together Sony’s recorded music and music publishing businesses outside of Japan to create a new Sony Music Group. I have asked Rob Stringer to take on the role of Chairman of this new Group, in addition to his current duty as CEO of Sony Music Entertainment.

The purpose of this new Group is to further strengthen and solidify Sony’s position as a leader in the music industry and create new value for the company. This unification will help us foster a higher level of collaboration between our recorded music and music publishing businesses, while respecting and maintaining the independence and unique culture of each organisation. Under this new structure, Jon Platt, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will report to Rob. Jon will retain the authority and responsibility he currently has with respect to the operation of the music publishing business. 

The rise of streaming services alongside other changes in the market has transformed our music business and created more opportunities for growth than ever before. As a result, we felt it was particularly important at this juncture for Sony to take proactive steps to sustain its leadership position in the music industry by accelerating the collaboration and value creation between our world-class recorded music and music publishing businesses to strengthen our value to artists, songwriters and business partners.

While Sony Music Entertainment Japan will remain a separate entity, reporting to me, I would like for the new Sony Music Group and SMEJ to continue and further strengthen their collaboration in the spirit of One Sony.

It’s been 51 years since Sony entered the music business through a joint venture of CBS Sony Records in 1968. And, with the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing in 2018, Sony has become an even stronger music company. 

I have the utmost respect and trust in Rob and Jon who are outstanding leaders with enormous industry expertise and have the strong support of their employees, artists and songwriters. Working together, and with your help, I am confident they will lead Sony Music Group to a new level of success, remaining the world’s most artist and songwriter-friendly music company, and further strengthening and securing our legacy for the future. 

Kenichiro Yoshida
President and CEO
Sony Corporation

* To read Rob Stringer’s 2017 Music Week cover story, click here. To subscribe to Music Week and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

 

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