One of the highlights of yesterday’s Music 4.5: The Rise of Video conference was 10 minutes of concentrated Scott Cohen, as The Orchard founder gave his views on YouTube, and the young YouTubers who are making their names on it. Cohen claimed the music industry should be learning from stars like Tiffany Alvord, Dave Days and Jenna Marbles – the latter of which has more than 11m subscribers and made $4.3m on YouTube in 2012.

“What are these kids teaching us that we’re missing? Because they’re doing things very differently to the way the music industry’s doing it,” said Cohen. “YouTube is their social media platform. It is how they’re getting their message out. That is how they’re engaging with their audience. And it’s their revenue platform. When was the last time you saw an artist that had a really popular tweet that went viral: how much were they paid?… On YouTube, you’re making money.”

Cohen also said the YouTubers understand the attention spans of their fans: “Now we’re in a world of micro-content: 15 seconds, 30 seconds… Four minutes long? F***ing hell, is that too long! Who has got enough time to stop and check out something that is four minutes long. But 15 seconds? Yeah… What we’ve got to learn is what can artists do with this format?”

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