Most Innovative Companies

Kobalt Music

Since launching in 2000, Kobalt has been busy rewiring one of the most arcane and complex aspects of the music industry: publishing and royalties. The Google Ventures-backed company scours the web and music services to find unpaid royalties and collects them on behalf of 45,000 creators—getting more money into the hands of artists, songwriters, and producers more quickly and transparently. In 2016, Kobalt launched AWAL, a new mobile app for artists to track their data, earnings, and views on different platforms. AWAL evolved in 2018 as a next-gen service for music artists, with Kobalt investing $150 million toward clients’ digital distribution, global marketing, and A&R. It also struck a strategic alliance with Glassnote Music, which leverages Kobalt’s distribution expertise for its artists’ catalogs. The company has secured physical distribution partnerships with Sony Music Canada, Pias in France, PopStock Everlasting in Spain, and Alliance and Super D in the U.S. With more than 500 employees, Kobalt also works with 600 publishing companies, and has collaborated with such artists as Childish Gambino, Marshmello, and Ozuna.

2019: Music
2018: Music
2017: Music
headquarters: New York City