YouTube’s Lyor Cohen Dishes On Music’s "New Golden Age," Streaming Subscriptions and Props To Daniel Ek


Lyor CohenYouTube’s Global Head Of Music, Lyor Cohen, is known for speaking his mind. So when the former label exec sat down for a keynote interview at the 2017 Music Matters summit in Singapore, people listened. He did not disappoint.

YouTube Music logo

“This business is entering a golden age”

“There’s so much opportunity between advertising and subscription. This business is entering a golden age. I think the golden age doesn’t get realized until we get the impresarios to return and roam and create boutiques. We’re entering the golden age but we need some impresarios back. We need more diversity and the ability to source talent and bring them to market.”

YouTube is serious about subscriptions, really.

“I know for a fact that my experience at Google and YouTube is that the company I now work with truly wants to build a subscription service that the industry, the artists, the labels can be very proud of. We’re definitely going to continue the hard work of increasing the ad market, and we’re going to help our partners — the labels and managers — break their artists. I think, from our end, there is a lot of enthusiasm in the building to be a really positive addition to this business.”

“Building a subscription business is really hard.”

“Building a subscription business is really hard. Building two is multiplying it. So the fact that that effort is being combined should be a real green light for everybody to recognise how serious this company is. The process is going really, really great. I’m in awe of the people building the product. They’re intelligent and musical. I really feel very confident. It’ll come and you’ll experience it and decide if you like it or not.”

Props to Daniel Ek with a side diss of Steve Jobs

“I’m just so grateful that Daniel Ek didn’t listen to anybody and kept moving his legs and kept believing in his purpose and he’s built a beautiful business, a business that the creative community can be incredibly proud of. I sat in front of Steve Jobs, who was basically spitting at me because he was so loud and certain that he would never build a subscription business, ever. “Do you understand, it will never happen.” Boom, they’ve now entered the subscription business and it’s brilliant. The more distribution partners that the labels and the artists can have, it’s got to be a net positive.”

 Full Transcript  on The Industry Observer