If the Trudeau government is looking for a poster boy for Canada's new economy, Robert Ott is their man.
The former musician started his first publishing firm at 19 and went on to become VP and GM of BMG Music Publishing in Canada before launching ole, one of the world’s largest independent music publishing and rights management companies, in 2004 with one partner and a substantial portfolio investment in the firm made by the Ontario Teacher Pension Plan.
He hasn't looked back.
Now a Canadian rights management juggernaut, ole hosted a private event on October 27 titled “Mission:Possible” to celebrate the company’s recent head office move to the top of 120 Bremner Tower, a flashy, ultra-modern 26,000 sq. ft. space in Toronto’s vibrant tech and media district with views of the Toronto basin and islands.
The event also celebrated ole’s 12 consecutive years of growth and success in the music publishing and rights management industry.
The Bremner Tower is also home to Amazon, Apple, BCE, Cisco and a number of other cutting-edge companies in the city’s newest skyscraper.
The move marks a major milestone for ole, which recently secured a US$500M credit facility and, has to date completed more than $550M in IP acquisitions. The company controls over 55,000 songs and 60,000 hours of TV/Film music across all genres.
One of the most profitable rights management companies, ole has achieved a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55 percent while maintaining industry-leading margins. The company is on track to meet a 2016 Net Publisher’s Share target of over $60 million.
“For 12 years, ole has been engaged in the art of the possible and the creation of success. This new, state-of-the-art facility will enable our business and even greater collaboration across verticals in the company,” said Robert Ott, chairman and CEO of ole. “Our ability to physically see the curvature of the Earth from this high vantage point is paralleled by a newfound business perspective built on years of innovation and growth. I am confident in ole’s vision for the future and ability to capitalize on the scale we’ve achieved.”
Today the private firm controls catalogues that include songs recorded by artists such as The Backstreet Boys, Beyoncé, Blake Shelton, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Madonna, Michael Jackson, One Direction, Rihanna, Rush, Taylor Swift, and Timbaland. ole also runs three labels: Anthem and Anthem Legacy, homes of the Rush and Max Webster catalogues and others, and its developmental red dot label, which includes work by Haley Reinhart, George Canyon and others.
Ott, meantime, has been recognized for his industry the world over. Last year, ole was honoured with the US Independent Music Publisher of the Year award, recognizing the firm’s extraordinary accomplishments, including successfully placing ole legacy co-writer Chris Wallin’s song “People Loving People” on Garth Brooks’ comeback album, Man Against Machine. The song became the hat star's first single since 2007.
The company now has a head count of 150 people operating out of Bremner and satellite offices in Nashville, New York, LA, and London.