The event will feature presentations and panels around these seven key topics: The Adolescence of Streaming; Global Copyright & Rights Management; Technology: Smart Speakers, AI, and Next Gen Music; The Modern Music Company; International: Spotlight on Emerging Markets; and Innovation: Investing In Music and Startup Showcases. 

These themes will set the scene for the two-day NY:LON Connect conference and are detailed below. 
avatar for Willard Ahdritz

Willard Ahdritz

Founder & CEO

Willard Ahdritz is the Founder & CEO of Kobalt, a global independent music services built for artists, songwriters, publishers and labels as an alternative to the traditional music business model. Ahdritz founded Kobalt in 2000 with a relentless pursuit to create a more transparent, fair, and rewarding alternative for artists, songwriters, music publishers, and labels. Through Kobalt's unique “clients first” service model, and creating the world’s most advanced multi-rights royalty collections technology, Ahdritz has changed the music industry forever.  Today, Kobalt’s Music Publishing, Neighboring Rights, Society (AMRA) and Recordings/AWAL divisions serve over 25,000 songwriters, 600 publishers, and 20,000 independent artists, including The Chainsmokers, Kelly Clarkson, Miles Davis, Dave Grohl, Zayn Malik, Max Martin, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Pitbull, Elvis Presley, Skrillex, Sam Smith, and many more. Kobalt represents on average over 40% of the top 100 songs and albums in both the US and UK. Leading up to the founding of Kobalt Music, Ahdritz had a series of experiences that inspired him to build the music company of the future. The first was his time in the Swedish army, where he was a coder for digital mobile phones and quickly learned the power of technology. Shortly thereafter, he started Telegram Music and saw that most artists were stuck in bad deals and that it took them years to be paid with no real transparency. And the only way artists could access their information was to sue your publisher or record label. Lastly, after he completed his MBA at NYU, he was a consultant at LEK and worked with major companies on how to handle enormous and complex volumes of data with sophisticated databases.  As he saw how technology was transforming industries overnight in the late 90s, he looked back at his own experiences and realized that the traditional ways music companies collected and accounted for royalties around the world would never work once the volume of digital micro-transactions really began to grow. With that inspiration, Ahdritz started Kobalt in 2000 to bring technology, transparency and trust to the music industry.   Now in operation for more than 17 years, Kobalt employs a staff of 500 in ten offices worldwide. Kobalt’s global technology platform is uniquely able to track and collect royalties for the billions of micro-payments per song in digital music today. Kobalt offers its clients a variety of services, including creative services, synch & brand partnerships, global licensing management, neighboring rights, works and rights distribution, royalty collection and processing, YouTube monetization, record release management, digital distribution and marketing.  The company continues to innovate and set new standards in the industry. Kobalt’s model has been embraced by a wide variety of content holders, including the world’s top songwriters, artists, and other music publishers.