The Creatr Podcast Ep. 02 – Scott Cohen: Becoming Music’s Chief Innovation Officer

Scott Cohen – London

Scott Cohen is one of the most influential executives in our recent music history. Without a musical background, Scott got involved in the music universe by observing and understanding innovation in other industries like technology and further implementing new advances in the way we consume and interact with music. 

In 1997 Cohen founded the first digital distribution company in history, The Orchard, by “observing” the shifts and trends in tech, rather than “predicting” the future. After decades of working at The Orchard (now a Sony Music Entertainment subsidiary), Scott moved over to Warner Music Group, where the board opened a new and exclusive position for him as Chief Innovation Officer.

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In this episode, Scott shares how technology and other industries affect music consumption, distribution, and the relationship between artists and audiences. We also take a deep dive into his views on the music industry’s past, present, and a blockchain-based, decentralized future.

The Future Music Forum is an annual international music conference based in Barcelona that gathers the leading minds in the world of music to exchange views on how music is being shared in today’s digital age and discuss new developments taking place in music technology.


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In this episode, we talk about:

  • Imagining a digital future without one.
  • “Ideas can be revolutionary, but change is ultimately evolutionary.”
  • What music fans really want is access.
  • Observe, instead of trying to predict.
  • Picking up news Technologies in the music Industry.
  • Creating smooth, natural transitions between music consumption practices
  • Working to naturally transition Warner Music Group into the future
  • The three layers relating to Blockchain.
    • The Internet – World Wide Web and protocols so everyone speaks the same “computer” language.
    • The Blockchain and its methodology.
    • Decentralization and Bitcoin.
  • “Why do I need to give my information to Facebook so that they can take my data and resell it for ads I don’t want to see? They should be paying me.”
  • Three pillars of social media: Platform, Users, Advertisers
  • “Does all music need to be on a single platform and all the users on the same platform?”
  • No companies getting in between me and my music.
  • Spotify would not be able to exist in a decentralized world
  • What about music recommendation?
  • The history and stages of music consumption.
  • Getting big as an artist will always be hard regardless of technological innovation.
  • It’s about your music and how you stay relevant to your audiences, it is not a royalty-rate problem…
  • Starting his first indie record label.
  • How to not run a Record Label.
  • Using technology to get ahead.
  • Getting around the World Wide Web in 1995 and understanding what audiences want.
  • Starting the first-ever digital distribution company with no digital catalog to sell.
  • Being broke until iTunes in 2003
  • Observing and deciphering what is coming for Warner Music.
  • VR.
  • Blockchain will be transformative and disruptive.

Resources

  1. Scott Cohen
  2. The Orchard
  3. Warner Music Group
  4. Blockchain
  5. Bitcoin
  6. Virtual Reality

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