Lyor Cohen On The Future Of The Music Business

The writing is on the wall: Lyor Cohen talks about the past and future of music.

If you think the music business is dying, don’t tell Lyor Cohen. As Warner Music Group’s chief of recorded music, he’s bullish on the industry’s future, and he’s got plenty of reasons of late: namely, billionaire Len Blavatnik‘s recent purchase of Warner for $3.3 billion. A bid for rival EMI may follow.

In the meantime, Cohen is focusing on a roster of artists that includes Metallica, Green Day, Cee Lo Green, Kid Rock and Bruno Mars. No stranger to artist development, Cohen co-founded Rush Management with Russell Simmons (pictured) in the 1980s and went on to become president of Def Jam, where he helped launch and guide the careers of acts including Run DMC, LL Cool J and Jay-Z, who has expressed his desire in verse to be “the next Lyor.”

Cohen sat down with me earlier this month to give his thoughts on the music business and where it’s headed, opening up about the sense of complacency fostered by the compact disc, the importance of multiple rights deals and implications of shrinking artist rosters industrywide. See below for the video.



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