Martin N. Bandier is Chairman and CEO of Bandier Ventures.
Prior to this, Mr. Bandier was the Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing for 12 years, a position in which he oversaw the company’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.
Mr. Bandier’s role at 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 popular current artists and writers. The Sony/ATV catalogues include some of the biggest names in music, including The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Sting, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder, among others. Its ever-growing list of chart-topping artists, writers and producers includes Cardi B, Drake, Calvin Harris, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, P!nk, Travis Scott, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Sam Smith, Stargate, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
In November 2011, Mr. Bandier was instrumental in negotiating the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing by Sony Corporation of America and an investor group, for which Sony/ATV administered the EMI catalog. The acquisition was a professional and personal milestone, as, prior to joining Sony/ATV, Mr. Bandier ran EMI Music Publishing for over 17 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. EMI Music Publishing became a wholly owned Sony company in November 2018.
Within months of joining Sony/ATV, Mr. Bandier negotiated the acquisition of the Famous Music catalogue from Viacom, which was 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,” and titles by songwriters such as Shakira and Akon. Mr. Bandier also oversaw the acquisition of the Leiber & Stoller catalogue in 2007, which includes one of the world’s best known songs, “Stand By Me,” as well as over 20 of the greatest songs ever recorded by Elvis Presley, including “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Treat Me Nice.”
Mr. Bandier’s 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 Mr. Bandier was appointed head of the combined music publishing division, EMI Music Publishing. He catapulted the company to new heights with a number of major catalogue acquisitions, taking it from the fourth largest music publishing business to the number one ranking.
Mr. Bandier’s many civic and industry commitments include membership on the boards of the City of Hope, the Songwriters 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. 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. 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 its 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 and BMI Pop Publisher of the Year, on a number of occasions, among countless other honors.
In June 2003, Bandier was honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame with their prestigious Patron of the Arts Award. In February 2015, at the Pre GRAMMY Gala in Beverly Hills, California, he was recognized with a GRAMMY Award when he became the first ever music publisher to receive the President’s Merit Award. This was followed by a Lifetime Service Award in June 2017 from the National Music Publishers’ Association. In 2019, Bandier received the Visionary Leadership Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the BMI Icon Award from BMI, marking the first time a music publishing executive has been awarded this prestigious honor.
He is a trustee of Syracuse University and a 1994 Arents Award winner. In 2006, Bandier founded a music and entertainment industry degree program at Syracuse University, appropriately named The Bandier Program for Music and Entertainment Industries; its first class graduated in 2011 and it has become the leading music business program.