Features June 22, 2018

Head Of YouTube Music Lyor Cohen talks the future of the music biz

Byron Jones
Staff Writer
Head Of YouTube Music Lyor Cohen talks the future of the music biz

Lyor Cohen, the lanky (6’5″!), global head of music at YouTube, used his platform at the Cannes Lions festival earlier this week to talk up the future of the new music business and his company’s role in it.

The former head of Def Jam Records made a passionate case for the relatively new YouTube Music platform that’s going up against streaming giants Spotify and Apple Music.

Cohen shared several of his thoughts with the Cannes Lions audience, continuing his spokesman support of the YouTube platform.


On the success of #Beychella

“It’s an incredible time to be in music. Did you see Beyonce destroy Coachella? It was mind-boggling what she did.”

“You saw it on Youtube. We’re better than okay right now.

“Fortunes are gonna get made.”


On YouTube’s growth in music streaming

“As the business expands, are we just going to relive and have PTSD about two decades of decline, or are we going to figure out how to grow the business and find more JAY-Zs and Kurt Cobains and Aretha Franklins?

“Everything is aligned. We have the largest and greatest in-depth catalogue in the world.”


On the global distribution of music

“The creative community — the labels and the artists — need many distributors.”

“If there’s a healthy ecosystem of distribution, it becomes safe for artists and labels.

“If it’s too consolidated, and only one or two players own distribution, that’s really problematic for the creative community.

“I believe that the present and future of the music business is direct to consumer.”


On the launch of YouTube Music

“Everybody’s hopeful and excited. All I hear when I go to industry events is ‘How can I be helpful?’ ‘Count us in’. It’s so nice to see [YouTube] in the game.”

“And I really appreciate that they have the confidence in us working together.

“There’s no bigger platform for music consumption than at YouTube Music.”

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