Former WMG exec Lyor Cohen, now running his own company 300 Entertainment, has been fielding questions from fans on Reddit in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) interview. There are some fun nuggets based on his business, which is signing artists, helping them make the most of digital platforms, and working with Twitter to find out whether it has potential as an A&R platform. Highlights from the AMA include Cohen’s answer to a question about whether touring or social media creates the strongest fans: “I think that we are in the very early stage of understanding the internet and the digital way of understanding engagement, and one of the best ways that I could describe it is ‘Why is every thumb the same size?’. That’s not how the real world works,” he said. Cohen also talked about the music industry’s failings: “One of the problems of our industry is that we are presumptuous, thinking that we may know more than our artists or the entrepreneurs that actually sign those artists, and starting by listening to them, I think, is the first important step.” He cited Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Beats, Jukely and YouTube as innovators in music, and suggested the next step in fan engagement is “trying to delete the massive passive and focus on the high influencers” while dousing fears about the lack of platinum-selling albums in the US this year: “I think that platinum is a archaic benchmark. And there are so many ways for us in this industry to make money that we should re-think what ‘platinum’ really is.”

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