YouTube Hires Music Exec Lyor Cohen, Because the Streaming Wars Needed More Drama

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Cohen. Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

YouTube has seen Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine and will raise them a Lyor Cohen. The longtime music exec is joining the video-streaming giant as their new global head of music. But, really, his job title should be savior of YouTube Red. Cohen, who used to run Def Jam and Warner Music Group but has recently been seen bossing around Young Thug as head of 300 Entertainment, will be tasked with mending the contentious relationship between YouTube and the major record labels. Considering he's the former CEO of one of them, who just so happens to have built YouTube's current partnership with WMG, you could say he's the perfect man for the job. But on a grander scale, he'll also act as a liaison between artists and YouTube, perhaps as a way to secure exclusives for YouTube's paid streaming service. If so, he'll be in direct competition with Apple Music's Larry Jackson and Spotify's newly hired Troy Carter — not to mention, you know, Tidal's Jay Z — to win the streaming wars. Prepare for battle!