YouTube's global head of music Lyor Cohen took to the company's blog today to pen a post regarding his experiences since joining the company last December from his prior role at 300 Entertainment, as well as to share his views on some of the music industry's biggest challenges. In the post, Cohen says he's "more optimistic than ever" that the company can bring tech and music together, but says "the truth is there’s still a disconnect between YouTube and the rest of the industry."
Cohen lays out five factors that he sees as the main reasons for that disconnect. (The five points are bulleted as: Late to the Party; Twin-Engine Growth; Let's Talk Dead Presidents; Fortune AND Fame; and Without Safe Harbor, We'd All Be Lost At Sea.) Overall, he argues that due to the rapid rise in revenue growth from subscription streaming services, the industry is largely turning up its nose at the opportunities available via ad-supported services -- the "two-engine growth" -- and stresses the need for increased transparency across all platforms in order for artists, labels and fans to benefit.
"Some think ads are the death of the music industry. Ads are not death. Death is death. Irrelevance is death. Fans not being exposed to new music is death," Cohen writes. "My time at YouTube has me convinced that advertising is another powerful source of growth for the industry. YouTube’s ads hustle has already brought over a billion dollars in 12 months to the industry and it’s growing rapidly. Combined with YouTube’s growing subscription service, they’ve now got two engines taking the industry to a more lucrative place than it’s ever been before."