Abstract Deposition of magnetic thin films on organic substrates in large width roll coaters by DC-magnetron sputtering imposes specific requirements on the sputter coater in terms of magnetrons (configuration, targets, magnet arrays,…) and process conditions (substrate cooling, deposition pressure, …). This paper will discuss how the use of rotatable magnelrons and multilayer coatings can solve the technical problems for producing amorphous, soft-magnetic coatings. Integration of know-how on target manufacturing in the sputter plant has been a critical issue in reducing production costs so that the sputtered film can be used in electronic article surveillance tags. Although hard-magnetic coatings for recording applications show completely different features in terms of microstructure and thickness, the experience gained with soft-magnetic alloys has considerably helped the authors in the development of thin films with good recording characteristics ( a.o. H c> 40 kA m −1).