AdAge has been profiling Lyor Cohen’s plans for 2018 as head of music at YouTube, including boiling down his pitch to artists, managers and labels as “We’re going to make you rich and famous”.
That includes providing financial support for music videos and promotion for new releases, as well as the previously-reported plans for a relaunched premium subscription service under the YouTube brand.
There are no direct quotes from Cohen on this, but the claim by AdAge that “subscribers will be able to listen to millions of songs on-demand, much like on Spotify, and access exclusive material, including videos and some songs that aren’t available for free” – as well as a hoped-for launch in the first half of 2018.
Other titbits: YouTube gave rapper G-Eazy “a few hundred thousand dollars” to make his ‘Overtime’ show, whose four episodes so far have generated 535k views on YouTube. It’s also in talks with Demi Lovato about a follow-up to her ‘Simply Complicated’ documentary, which has been watched 12.8m times since its debut in October.
Also worth keeping tabs on: some labels’ disquiet over the perception that Cohen’s ‘rich and famous’ pitch is partly about sidelining labels to work directly with artists – against a backdrop of similar fretting over the strategies (or sometimes just the possible future strategies) of services like Apple Music and Spotify.