Lyor Cohen, the veteran U.S. label exec, entrepreneur and now global head of music at YouTube and Google, will deliver the music keynote at SXSW in March 2018.
Cohen joins the lineup of the annual conference and showcase event just days after news broke of YouTube’s intentions to release a third paid music service, also planned for next March 2018.
According to a report in Bloomberg, the yet-to-launch service has a working title of Remix and will offer on-demand streaming music and other elements of YouTube, including videos.
“Over his 30 year career, Lyor Cohen has been behind the most prolific musical acts and at the helm of the biggest labels. His creativity and passion to keep the music industry innovative continue to flourish with his leadership at YouTube,” comments Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer, in a statement. “Cohen and the speakers announced today continue to define SXSW as the foremost destination for creative people.”
Cohen cut his teeth in hip-hop, through Rush and Def Jam, and has run indies, majors (Island Def Jam, Warner Music), launched startups (300 Entertainment) and is now in charge of the music activities of the giant YouTube and Google platforms, where he oversees domestic and international music partnerships plus artist and label relations.
In a recent onstage chat at Music Matters in Singapore, the exec spoke of his love of Australian music, the “golden age” of streaming and the anticipated combination of Google Play Music and YouTube Red.
Cohen’s keynote will take place on Wednesday, March 14 during the second half of SXSWeek. He joins a lineup of newly announced speakers including Oscar-winning hip-hop artist Common, Kim Deal of The Breeders and Pixies, Giphy CEO Alex Chung, and veteran U.S. journalist Katie Couric.
SXSW 2018 will run from March 9-18.