Jon Platt is the CEO and Chairman of Sony Music Publishing, headquartered in New York, NY.
As of 2022, Sony/ATV Music Publishing is the largest global music publisher.
Jon Platt was previously CEO of Warner/Chappell Music before joining Sony Music Publishing (then called Sony/ATV Music Publishing) in 2019.
Jon Platt: Career History
Jon Platt started his career as a local DJ in Denver, gaining attention through the grapevine.
Platt was not satisfied being a local music act, opting to move to Los Angeles to pursue a managerial career. He was shortly introduced to Madukey Productions, a music production group focusing on the intersection of Funk and Hip-Hop. Soon thereafter, Platt gained the group a publishing deal with EMI.
In 1995, Platt was hired by EMI Music Publishing to replace one of their departing Creative Managers. Platt quickly ascended the ranks at EMI, only needing one year to become the Creative Director.
In 1997, he was promoted to Vice President of EMI. Overall, Platt worked at EMI Music Publishing for 17 years. During his time with the company, Platt signed an impressive run of up-and-coming artists, including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Usher, Pharrell, and Diddy.
In 2012, Platt joined Warner/Chappell Music as President. By 2015, he was named the company’s Chairman and CEO.
He led the company to increased profits and growth.
When Platt confirmed his exit from Warner Chappell, then-Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper stated: “Warner/Chappell is a very different company than the one he [Platt] joined in 2012, and he leaves it well positioned for continued growth and change. Our songwriters’ success in shaping the hits of today and the sounds of tomorrow is attracting a wealth of creative talent at all stages of their careers.”
“We all know the story: a Denver DJ with the Jheri curls. Now he’s the highest-ranking black executive in any global music company. Jon Platt is the Obama of the music industry.”
Jay-Z, October 2018
About the progress made by all employees of Warner/Chappell under his leadership, Platt once noted “Our songwriters have become the standard for creative excellence. Our team has built Warner/Chappell into the strongest company it’s ever been. We’ve done it together, and we’ve done it our own way. I have no doubt that you can reach even higher.”
In October 2018, Jon Platt received the prestigious Spirit Of Life award at the City Of Hope gala in Los Angeles.
Amongst the assembled stars and industry executives to pay tribute on the night was Jay-Z (aka Shawn Carter), who was first signed by Platt in 1997.
“This man is a CEO and Chairman,” said Jay-Z on the night.
“He’s worked his way there. We all know the story: a Denver DJ with the Jheri curls. [Now] he’s the highest-ranking black executive in any global [music] company. He’s the Obama of the music industry.”
In 2019, Platt took over the Chairman and CEO role at Sony/ATV Music Publishing from the departing Marty Bandier.
So far during his stint at Sony, Platt has significantly increased female representation in senior leadership teams.
Jon Platt: Professional philosophy
In a Music Business Worldwide interview from July 2022, discussing his friendship with artists/writers such as Jay Z, Jon Platt said: “I tell younger people in A&R: the relationships that I have [in music] didn’t get to where they are today just because these people like me. I’ve achieved these relationships because I do a job for them.
Nobody signs a publishing or record deal because they need a new friend. They already have their own friends. We’re here to do a job, and to add value to their careers.
“NOBODY SIGNS A PUBLISHING OR RECORD DEAL BECAUSE THEY NEED A NEW FRIEND. THEY ALREADY HAVE THEIR OWN FRIENDS.”
“Now, over time, you might become friends with extremely talented people; sometimes, very rarely, you might even be considered family by them. But it all starts and ends with doing the job!
“Jay knows I will always do my job for him, and all the other songwriters I have been so blessed to work with.”
“Our industry covers every genre of music and is welcoming to new creations. Inside our companies, the workforce should be equally diverse. My dream is for our companies to be an orchestra of races, creeds and colors.”
In June 2020, following the murder of George Floyd the previous month, Jon Platt wrote an open letter to the music industry entitled ‘A Change Must Come’.
In that letter, Platt said: “We must create a platform that provides each and every colleague the encouragement for true self-expression. For people of color, this means the comfort to connect, mourn and heal in authentic ways that might be unfamiliar to, or uncomfortable for, some colleagues. But I encourage you to lean into that discomfort.
“Our industry covers every genre of music and is welcoming to new creations. Inside our companies, the workforce should be equally diverse. My dream is for our companies to be an orchestra of races, creeds and colors.”Music Business Worldwide