[UPDATED] Scott Cohen, co-founder of The Orchard, has joined Warner Music Group in the newly created position of Chief Innovation Officer, Recorded Music. Cohen exited the Sony owned indie distributor earlier this year.
Cohen is charged with helping to chart a long-term course for WMG at the intersection of music, technology and culture. Well known on the industry speaking circuit, Cohen recently warned his peers that they were all but obsolete in a fast approaching post-album, post-streaming, post-fan and and blockchain and AI driven music business:
"Wait until musicians really get into working with AI and see what they can create. What would 'Dark Side Of The Moon' sound like with AI, what would Pink Floyd do in 2019?”
“It’s no longer enough for entertainment companies to merely embrace change, they need to create the future themselves.," Cohen said of his move to WMG. "What attracted me to Warner was the sense that Max and his team are building an environment where truly original, disruptive ideas can flourish. Warner is uniquely positioned to take an agile but principled approach to growing the universe of opportunity for music.”
Cohen began his music career in the late ‘80s in independent and major label artist management. In 1997, Cohen and Richard Gottehrer (co-founder of WMG’s Sire Records label), started The Orchard on New York’s Lower East Side to provide independent artists the ability to sell their music to mainstream audiences. With the launch of iTunes in 2003, The Orchard delivered the largest catalog of independent music to the digital music consumer. A year later, they had become the first indie digital distributor to hit one million paid downloads.
In subsequent years, The Orchard expanded into video, music licensing, marketing & analytics, royalty collections, sports media, and other arenas. Two decades after its formation, the company is now owned by Sony Music and has operations in 40 global territories.