Lyor Cohen to Deliver Keynote Q&A at Midem

Lyor Cohen 2009 P
AP Photo/Peter Kramer

The former Warner Music Group recorded music chief will be interviewed by Tom Silverman, executive director of the New Music Seminar and CEO of Tommy Boy, at the Cannes event.

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Former Warner Music Group recorded music chief Lyor Cohen has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at this year’s Midem trade fair in Cannes, where he will outline his plans for his new Google-backed label venture 300.

Appearing as part of the “Midem Talks” conference program, Cohen will be interviewed by Tom Silverman, executive director of the New Music Seminar and CEO of Tommy Boy, on Feb. 2. The keynote speech will be the first time that Cohen has publicly discussed his plans for 300 and will give delegates and attendees exclusive insight into the digital-era strategies that his new music company will follow, as well Cohen’s overall vision for successfully navigating the 21st century music business.

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As reported by Billboard on Nov. 1, 300 was first unveiled in the fall of last year and was co-founded with two of Cohen’s long-term music partners, Todd Moscowitz (ex-Warner Bros president) and Kevin Liles (ex-EVP Warner Music). All three execs had also worked together at Def Jam, which Cohen ran in the '80s and '90s. The new music company, which counts Google among its investors, has signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Records, although it is yet to announce any artist signings. 

“Lyor Cohen has been one of the most influential industry players over the past decades, and he is now embarking on an exciting new venture which promises to push the envelope in terms of artist development and distribution. We are thrilled he has chosen Midem as a platform to give the music industry a first look at his vision,” said Midem director Bruno Crolot in a statement.

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Prior to forming 300, Cohen co-founded Def Jam Recordings, which rapidly became one of the leading record labels of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Cohen subsequently managed the Island Def Jam Music Group before joining Warner Music Group in 2004, where he quickly rose to the post of Chairman/CEO of Recorded Music. Cohen exited the major in September 2012.

Centered on the theme, "Back to Growth? Make It Sustainable!," Midem takes place from Feb. 1-4 at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.