Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a music publishing company co-owned by The Michael Jackson Estate and Sony Music. The organisation was originally founded as Associated Television (ATV) in 1955 by Sir Lew Grade. In 1957, ATV acquired Pye Records as a wholly owned subsidiary. At the time, Pye Records was one of the three major record companies in the UK and accounted for the vast majority of music records sold in the country. The Searchers, The Kinks, Donovan, The Moody Blues, Mungo Jerry and Petula Clark were some of the artists whose music Pye Records released. ATV Music Publishing was then created to exploit and publish the catalogue of songs written by artists on the Pye Record label.
ATV Music Publishing and Pye Records were both at the forefront of the British music explosion in the 1960s. The businesses held contracts with several US companies, allowing them to manufacture and distribute records in the UK. ATV Music Publishing and Sir Grade acquired the rights to the Lennon–McCartney song catalogue, Northern Songs, in 1968. The catalogue featured every song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney until The Beatles’ split in 1971. Len Beadle, the company’s head, signed up many songwriters and bought numerous song catalogues during this time period.