Kobalt appoints Lonny Olinick as CEO of recorded music

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Kobalt has appointed Lonny Olinick as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its recorded music division.

Olinick will oversee artist services/distribution platform AWAL as well as the Kobalt Music Recordings operation.

He will report directly to the founder and CEO of Kobalt Music, Willard Ahdritz.

Olinick was previously Kobalt’s Chief Strategy Officer, a position which saw him responsible for strategy and business development, as well as executive oversight, for Kobalt’s recordings division.

In 2017 he was actively involved in Kobalt’s $89m fundraise, and played a key role in the growth of AWAL, which now boasts billions of streams on key platforms.

His promotion comes seven months after the departure of Kobalt President Richard Sanders. Now TIDAL’s CEO, Sanders was previously involved in much of Kobalt’s activity in recorded music.

“In the last year we optimized our recordings division for the music streaming market and as a result we had a banner year with our artists.”

Lonny Olinick, Kobalt (pictured)

The past 12 months has seen a renewed focus on emerging recording artists at Kobalt – as opposed to heritage acts – via the well-funded, data-focused relaunch of AWAL.

AWAL’s recent success stories include the likes of Lauv, Ray BLK, VÉRITÉ and Tom Misch.

“In the last year we optimized our recordings division for the music streaming market and as a result we had a banner year with our artists,” said Olinick.

“Our focus on identifying, developing and breaking new artists through our AWAL service, alongside our established artist clients has resulted in a number of break through successes.

“Lauv, who had a top 30 global radio hit, went gold or platinum in 10 territories and has more than 500 million audio streams with his songs since becoming a Kobalt client is one great example of our focus.

“This is the dawn of a new era and we will be at the digital forefront, just as we were with publishing.”

Senior members of Olinick’s worldwide team will include UK-based Paul Hitchman (President, Kobalt Music Recordings) and Ron Cerrito (President, Kobalt Music Recordings North America).

“As the industry turns the page and starts to embrace streaming, the team led by Lonny will be a force to be reckoned with in this new music industry.”

Willard Ahdritz, Kobalt

Olinick added, “Having worked closely with Paul [Hitchman] and Ron [Cerrito] over the past year, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and look forward to continuing to build this division together into a powerhouse.”

Willard Ahdritz stated, “Lonny has contributed immensely to the overall strength and growth of Kobalt Music in the past couple years.

“Not only is he a smart business strategist but he is an innovator who knows how to develop what’s best for artists – not just for today, but the future music industry.

“As the industry turns the page and starts to embrace streaming, the team led by Lonny will be a force to be reckoned with in this new music industry.”

Before joining Kobalt in 2016, Lonny Olinick’s career saw him working for the likes of Bain & Company, Sony Music and BMG.Music Business Worldwide

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  • Arthur J. Smith

    All The Way From 5th Ward,Texas…
    *Kobalt Music Sounds As If Being A “Forecast Running Music Machine Through Transparency!” “It Appears When There Is FREEDOM From Nothing To Hide, Good New Music Business Is On The Rise”…The Creators it Represents will not only Survive and Thrive but Stay Alive! Talk About The Truth Will Set You Free! I Salute! -art SMITH