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PLATT'S SONG OF BLIGHTY

 Warner/Chappell Chairman and CEO Jon Platt was the star of Midem on Saturday, alongside hit songwriter of the moment Justin Tranter. Interviewed by Music Business Worldwide’s Tim Ingham, Platt discussed A&R, work culture and ambitions, placing particular focus on growing his U.K. business.

Warner/Chappell U.K. has a new boss in respected A&R man Mike Smith, and, with Platt's publishing business having grown in the U.S., Blighty is the new priority.

“My focus now is to push the way we’re working in the U.S. out to the rest of the world. I’ve been in the U.K. more in the last six to nine months than I’ve been in my entire life,” he said. “It’s an area that’s really important to me, and I think we’ve underperformed there for a long time. We’ve got the nuts and bolts of a great team and now have new leadership in place. I’m really excited for the future of the U.K.”

Discussing his setup stateside, Platt lavished praise on his co-heads of A&R, Ryan Press and Katie Vinten; the latter started her career as Platt’s assistant. Platt noted that he started bringing assistants into A&R meetings. “My view was that they listen to music too, they have ideas and friends who are writing songs or in bands,” he explained. Vinten spoke up at the mention of artist/songwriter MoZella.

Platt signed her with Vinten taking charge of the project. MoZella now earns hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from sync placements. She also co-wrote Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”

Tranter said Warner/Chappell’s enviable 2016—which has seen the firm take ASCAP Pop Publisher of the Year, among other laurels—is down to a great A&R team, a culture that makes writers feel like part of the family, and hard work. “It always starts at the top,” he said, adding that Platt’s "rare combination" of work ethic and good personality is “very special and very lethal. He can get a lot of amazing things done for a lot of people.”

After enjoying hits with Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Selena Gomez’ “Good For You” and “Cake By The Ocean,” written with DNCE, Tranter is moving into artist development and has a few acts under wraps. “With DNCE, I got to really dig into that, crafting the sound with Joe Jonas, and one of my song titles became the name of the band. I loved being there to help create the whole thing,” he concluded.

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