Back to Speakers

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson serves as Chief Information Officer for The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC), where he is responsible for overseeing the development and launch of The MLC’s systems to distribute billions of dollars in royalties from digital streaming services payable to songwriters and copyright owners around the world. A key component of of these systems is The MLC’s musical works database, which will be publicly accessible for reviewing rights ownership and claiming unmatched royalties.

A pioneer in the development and implementation of technology for music rights management, Thompson most recently was the Chief Technology Officer of Kobalt Music Group for 17 years, supporting the company throughout its initial startup to become one of the world’s most innovative and recognizable music publishing companies. In this role, Thompson spearheaded the development of a single global platform that runs Kobalt’s publishing, label, neighboring rights and global digital society businesses.

Thompson also led the launch of Kobalt’s consumer-facing digital distribution, marketing, and data analytics solution, which rapidly grew to 8,000 artists and labels across the globe. The solution ensured millions of items of audio, video, and image content could be securely stored, encoded, and distributed to every major online retailer, including Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon.

Thompson has also served as Chair of DDEX, the global music metadata standards body. Thompson led the creation of the DDEX Licensing Working Group which focused on the improvement in the administration and communication of mechanical rights in the U.S. and Canada. Thompson served as the first chair of the Licensing Working Group; whose Standards are now integral to the mechanical licensing processes in both territories.

Previously, Thompson worked for Oracle Corp. in its consulting, development, and media divisions. Thompson was an integral member of Oracle’s consulting group that created a new multi-channel interactive services venture, which was successfully integrated with core product suite and sold to major UK, European, and Australasian clients. During his years with Oracle, Thompson progressed from developer / technical lead to Development Manager of Content Management component, eventually leading a team of developers across the full production lifecycle.

Thompson and his family reside on the outskirts of London, UK.

Close