By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Lyor Cohen, the music industry bigwig who began his career as Run DMC’s road manager before founding Def Jam Records and helming Warner Music Group, is launching a record label called 300, with Google as the primary investor.
While this doesn’t count as Google (owner of YouTube and Google Play Music), starting its own record label, it does reveal that Google is prepared to invest in at least partially owning music copyrights and helping to develop artists outside of the traditional label system.
Cohen, who originally announced 300 in November, plans to offer significantly more detail to the music industry for the first time at the Midem conference in Cannes, France on February 2, in an on-stage keynote interview with Tommy Silverman of Tommy Boy Records and the New Music Seminar.
However, the announcement of that announcement includes a bit more detail about this intriguingly-named music company:
- 300 will be “a music content company devoted to the discovery and development of the artists of the future.”
- The general idea is “to create an innovative artist development structure with greater flexibility and lower overheads to challenge the majors.”
- Other investment funds are involved in addition to Google, but Google is the biggest investor.
- Bruno Crolot, the director of Midem, says 300 “promises to push the envelope in terms of artist development and distribution.”
- The announcement specifically calls out Cohen’s work at WMG in brokering endorsement deals between artists and brands.
Google has reportedly invested $5 million in 300, whose name was derived from the movie by the same name.
“It was a battle that changed the way wars are fought,” Cohen told Billboard in December. “These guys found that if you were well synchronized, strategic, loyal with great planning and preparedness you could do much more with less and be highly effective.”
We’ll know more about this Google-backed record label (and possibly publisher, distributor, and brand interface) on February 2.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Terence RN)