Sony Acquires AWAL, Kobalt Neighboring Rights

AWAL, which built a reputation as a safe harbor for independent artists seeking true global reach, is now owned by Sony, the world’s second largest music group.

Sony Music Entertainment has announced that it will acquire Kobalt’s recorded music operations, including AWAL and performance rights collection agency Kobalt Neighbouring Rights.

Together they will become a new division within SME’s suite of independent artist and label services alongside independent distribution company, The Orchard.

“Connecting AWAL with The Orchard rounds out SME’s expanded support and services opportunities for record labels as well as DIY artists,” Sony said in a statement.

Lonny Olinick will remain AWAL’s CEO.

“The AWAL team has futuristically enabled artists to deliver their creative vision since its inception.,” said Olnick. “Now, as part of the global Sony ecosystem, we can dramatically expand on this vision for them. We are also excited to build on our innovative neighboring rights as well as DIY platforms with extended support from The Orchard.”

In making the announcement, Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group said, “Our investment in AWAL’s continued growth gives us another level of service to offer the independent music community. With their flexible solutions to building artist careers, together we will offer creators more exciting choices to connect with their audience worldwide.”

Said Brad Navin, CEO, The Orchard, “The Orchard’s comprehensive offerings, global footprint and technology will contribute to AWAL’s continued success. We will give more artists a transparent, global solution and access to multiple touch points to release their music however they choose.” 

Kobalt Neighbouring Rights

Kobalt’s Neighbouring Rights division, led by CEO, Ann Tausis, has grown to represent more than 2,000 clients.

With this agreement, SME artists and The Orchard distributed labels will be able to partner with Neighbouring Rights to capitalize on its infrastructure and collection network. 

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