Lyor Cohen Sees the Music Industry’s Rosy Future
Lyor Cohen came out of the hip-hop world, first emerging as Run-DMC’s road manager in the 1980s. He has since managed artists and run record companies before becoming YouTube’s Global Head of Music in 2016 — a position that, given YouTube’s ascendancy in online music, involves a United Nations’ worth of diplomacy.
Cohen could be just the man for the job, given his background working with Jay-Z, Beastie Boys, Rush Artist Management, Island Def Jam Music Group, Warner Music Group and other acts and entities. And in the same way that only Nixon could go to China, Cohen was once among YouTube’s vocal critics— pulling Warner songs from the channel in protest over its payment rates before having to give in less than a year later.