YouTube has hired 30-year music industry executive Lyor Cohen as its global head of music in an effort to shore up its relationships with record companies and artists. After first helping to develop Def Jam from the label’s infancy as its eventual president, he left to run Warner Music Group before starting his own label, 300 Entertainment.
Cohen is leaving 300 Entertainment, home to Young Thug and Fetty Wap, on December 5 to take the position. The Verge reports he sent a letter to his new employees stating their mission is to help “the music community embrace the technological shifts we’re seeing in music today so we can help take the confusion and distrust out of the equation” and “move towards a more collaborative relationship between the music industry and the technologies that are shaping the future of the business.”
“First, helping the music community embrace the technological shifts we’re seeing in music today so we can help take the confusion and distrust out of the equation. Second, building on the great work you all have done to help the music industry and creative community break new songs and artists to YouTube’s audience of over 1 billion fans. From building on the success of the YouTube Music app, to shining a light on emerging artists, I believe our potential to strengthen the industry is massive. And third, I hope that together we can move towards a more collaborative relationship between the music industry and the technologies that are shaping the future of the business.”
Following Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine and Spotify’s Troy Carter, Cohen is the latest industry veteran hired by a music streaming service to facilitate relationships with labels and artists. He’s certain his expertise will bring a lot to the table.
“I’m confident that we can bridge the worlds of technology and music in ways that benefit everyone, instead of the zero-sum mentality that exists today,” he added in the letter. “I’m proud to be a music man, and hope that the perspective I bring from both the creative community and the music business at large will help us, our music partners and artists grow and thrive together.”