‘Big Jon’ Platt, a music-publishing power, joins Warner/Chappell

Pharrell Williams, left, and Jon Platt at the 2012 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Beverly Hills.
(Frederick M. Brown)

He is known to artists such as Kanye West and Beyonce simply as “Big Jon.”

Jon Platt, a music-publishing veteran of EMI responsible for signing top hip-hop and R&B; talent including Usher, Drake, Ludacris and others, announced Monday that he’s landed at Warner Music Group as president of creative at Warner/Chappell, the company’s publishing division.

The news is a coup for Cameron Strang, chief executive of Warner/Chappell. The publisher had spent months recruiting Platt, who announced in June that he was leaving EMI after 17 years with the British music publisher. Speculation raged over the summer as to whether Platt would join Strang or opt to rejoin his former mentor, Martin Bandier, at Sony Music Entertainment.

An imposing figure, Platt has physically and metaphorically towered over rival executives. Over the years, he’s signed publishing deals with Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Mary Mary and others.


“Jon’s character, his leadership skills and his ability to identify, sign and nurture talent combine to make him one of the top executives in the music business,” Strang said in a statement.

Since joining Warner/Chappell in 2010, Strang has pursued a two-prong strategy to add to the company’s catalog and sign emerging talent. Warner’s stature in the music-publishing business is increasingly viewed as critical to providing a stable, high-margin revenue stream at a time when recorded music sales have eroded.

In July, Strang spearheaded a deal to acquire the copyrights of film scores from hundreds of Miramax movies, including “Good Will Hunting,” “The Cider House Rules,” “Gangs of New York” and “Finding Neverland.”

Platt’s addition fulfills the second part of Warner’s strategy to add new talent, which is seen as a vital step to growing the company’s revenue.



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