Martin N. Bandier ’62 is chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a position he has held since 2007. Bandier oversees Sony/ATV’s global music publishing activities, including talent and copyright acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and the development and implementation of the company’s long-term strategic initiatives.
Bandier’s move to Sony/ATV matched one of the most renowned music-publishing executives in the industry with the company that controls some of its most valuable catalogue assets and boasts a stellar roster of the most active and popular current artists and writers. The Sony/ATV catalogues include some of the biggest names in music, such as the Beatles, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Wyclef Jean, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Sade, Richie Sambora and Hank Williams, as well as some of the industry’s leading songwriters and producers, including RedOne, Linda Perry, J.R. Rotem and John Shanks. Its growing current roster of chart-topping artists include Taylor Swift, Lady GaGa, Akon, Enrique Iglesias, Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, Kenny Chesney, Fall Out Boy, Flo Rida, Jessie J, John Mayer, Mike Posner, Shakira and Rascal Flatts.
Within months of joining Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Bandier negotiated the acquisition of the Famous Music catalogue from Viacom, which is widely considered one of the world’s largest and most sought-after music catalogues. It comprises 125,000 songs, including scores from films such as The Godfather, Braveheart, and Mission Impossible. He also oversaw the acquisition of the Lieber Stoller catalogue, which includes one of the world’s best known songs, “Stand By Me,” as well as more than 20 of the greatest songs ever recorded by Elvis Presley, including “Jailhouse Rock,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and “Treat Me Nice.”
Prior to joining Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Bandier ran EMI Music Publishing for more than 16 years. Under his leadership, it became the world’s largest and most successful music publishing company, as he acquired the rights to some of the most famous songs ever written and signed many top songwriters and artists.
His involvement in the music industry dates to 1975, when he, Sam LeFrak, and Charles Koppelman formed the Entertainment Company, where he achieved hits with a number of best-selling songs. He went on to co-found the Entertainment Music Company and SBK Entertainment World, where he modernized music publishing by expanding the use of the catalogue in commercials, films, sound recordings and stage productions. He also set up an advanced collection system for SBK’s vast copyright holdings. SBK sold its music publishing interests to Thorn EMI in 1989, and Bandier was appointed head of the combined music publishing division, EMI Music Publishing. He catapulted the company to new heights with the purchase of a number of major catalogue acquisitions, taking it from the fourth largest music publishing business to the number one ranking.
Bandier’s many civic and industry commitments include membership on the boards of the City of Hope, ASCAP, the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and the NMPA, where he is vice president of the board of directors. He also serves as a trustee of the T.J. Martell Foundation. In September 2008, The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation, the affiliated charities of The Recording Academy, announced that their respective boards had elected Bandier to be a MusiCares Director.
His many industry achievements include numerous and consecutive years as Publisher of the Year by performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, and in 2007, Sony/ATV won Nashville’s “Triple Crown,” an unprecedented and historic achievement in music publishing with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC each naming Sony/ATV Publisher of the Year. Since Bandier joined in 2007, Sony/ATV has won both of the industry’s top awards, the ASCAP Pop Publisher of the Year (2009) and BMI Pop Publisher of the Year (2011).
In June 2003, Bandier was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as a Patron of the Arts. He is a trustee of Syracuse University and a 1994 recipient of the Arents Award, the University’s highest alumni honor. A graduate of the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, he founded The Bandier Program for Music and Entertainment Industries, a music and entertainment industry degree program at SU.