'It's a tough business': Sony/ATV's Guy Moot on being the No.1 publisher

'It's a tough business': Sony/ATV's Guy Moot on being the No.1 publisher

Guy Moot, Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK MD and president, worldwide creative has told Music Week that the company must “keep innovating” to stay on top. 

The publisher has just achieved a year-long chart run with its songwriters – including Drake, Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and Luis Fonsi for Despacito – on the US Hot 100. Sony/ATV managed to pull off a 52-week chart run in the UK last year, thanks to hits from Mike Posner, Drake, Major Lazer/Justin Bieber, The Chainsmokers, James Arthur, Little Mix, Clean Bandit and Ed Sheeran. 

While Sony/ATV has a strong roster of established writers and is signing rising stars such as Yungen, the company is operating in an evolving publishing landscape following the growth of major disruptors such as Kobalt.

“Publishing is very competitive, there’s a lot of new players so it keeps us on our toes, it motivates us,” said Moot. “We have to keep innovating, we have to keep changing. Competition is good. Anybody who thinks it’s an easy ride, they are very wrong. It’s a tough business.”

At last month’s Music Week Awards, Sony/ATV was named Publisher Of The Year.

“We’re a big company and a successful company but you don’t take anything for granted,” Moot told Music Week. “So it’s always a thrill winning.”

Sony/ATV came out in top in the market shares for the Top 100 singles in 2016, so the publisher will be hopeful of holding on to the No.1 position after a strong year for writers including Sheeran.

“I wish I had a grand strategy for market share – every day you come in and do what you do best,” said Moot. “You appreciate good music, we’re lucky to work with incredibly talented people. Ed Sheeran alone last year was probably a few points of that market share, so special thanks to him. You don’t take it for granted. I don’t sit there totalling it up every week and month, we just do what we can every day and try and work with the best artists and work as hard to create some great copyrights going forward.”

Sony/ATV has a long-term partnership with Alex Turner and Arctic Monkeys, whose new album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, is tipped for big opening sales this week (May 11). Moot has described the comeback LP as a “masterpiece”.


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