He’s a rap aficionado, turned label chief, turned digital-music exec.
During a 30-year career as a record producer and music exec, Lyor Cohen worked with or helped develop such acts as Jay-Z, The Killers, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, and Kanye West.
Then he switched sides.
YouTube scored a major coup when it hired Cohen in 2016. Among his old label pals, the move was unpopular. For a variety of reasons, many once saw Google as a threat. The main knock is that YouTube doesn’t pay enough for the music videos that helped turn the site into an entertainment juggernaut.
But Cohen, the former CEO of Recorded Music at Warner Music Group, has done much to patch up the relationship. Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, the labels top lobbyist, complimented the job Cohen’s done.
Meanwhile, YouTube remains one of world’s the largest music distributors. And to counter a challenge from Apple Music and Spotify, Cohen recently helped launch YouTube’s new subscription music service.