The appointment follows Cooper’s successful tenure as WMG’s longest-running CEO (until January 31).
Cooper joined WMG in August 2011 following the company’s acquisition by Access Industries in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.3 billion. Back then, he was described as a corporate “turnaround guru” who was able to rescue struggling companies from Krispy Kreme to energy company Enron.
Cooper’s decade-plus run at WMG saw multiple acquisitions including 300 Entertainment (US), Qanawat (Middle East), and Africori (Sub Saharan Africa), as well as nine-figure catalog deals with stars like David Bowie and David Guetta.
He was also at the helm of Warner when the company went public on the NASDAQ in 2020.
Having handed over control of WMG to the major’s new CEO, Robert Kyncl, Cooper is now bringing a wealth of experience in innovation, M&A, operations and finance to guide OneOf, the latter said in a Wednesday (February 15) statement.
OneOf said Cooper helped WMG embrace streaming and Web3 technologies, with partnerships and investments across a portfolio of startups and tech giants. Cooper’s addition to OneOf’s board came about a year after the company partnered with Warner Music Group to help create exclusive NFTs for WMG artists.
With Cooper leading WMG, the record company accelerated its NFT and Web3 push. In addition to OneOf, WMG also struck partnerships with digital collectibles platform Blockparty, gaming virtual world The Sandbox, and avatar technology company Genies, among others.
OneOf, a Web3 company and NFT marketplace that was co-founded by tech entrepreneur Lin Dai, digital media executive Joshua James, and music industry veteran Adam Fell, in partnership with Quincy Jones and Quincy Jones Productions, claims that its “Green NFT platform” mints NFTs that are up to “2 million times more energy efficient” than its competitors.
It raised more than $8 million in strategic funding in August 2022, bringing its total funding to over $72 million. In 2021, it attracted $63 million in a seed round from tech and music industry veterans.
The platform’s backers include Amex Ventures, Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact and Innovation Fund, Snow Hill Ventures, Sangha Capital, Chain Link Crypto Fund, VC Bill Tai’s Actai Unicorn Fund, Galaxy Digital, Nima Capital, Sangha Capital, Recharge Capital, Andromeda Capital, Sanctor Capital, and Tezos Foundation, among others.
“OneOf has a stellar team and deep expertise in providing next generation Web3 technology to enterprises and brands. I look forward to serving on OneOf’s Board of Directors to help guide and accelerate their growth.”
OneOf has worked with companies like Warner Music Group, Brave, Uber and more. In 2021, it launched a consumer facing Web3 marketplace that has become home to digital collectibles from world’s biggest artists, athletes and brands, including Doja Cat, The Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretsky, Sports Illustrated, American Express, Anheuser-Busch, JBL, Harman Kardon, Gatorade, Snapple and many more.
The company claims to connect 100 million consumers to brands and creators. Its platform allows consumers — with no prior crypto expertise — to collect or trade digital assets.
In January last year, OneOf struck a “first-of-its-kind preferred partnership” with WMG to create exclusive NFTs for WMG artists.
OneOf added that its “2-minute no-crypto-knowledge needed” Web3 CRM technology helped onboard millions of non-crypto-native consumers across its platforms.
“OneOf has a stellar team and deep expertise in providing next-generation Web3 technology to enterprises and brands.”
Commenting on his appointment at OneOf’s board, Cooper said: “I am excited about how technology can reshape the future of music, entertainment and business models for many industries.”
“OneOf has a stellar team and deep expertise in providing next-generation Web3 technology to enterprises and brands. I look forward to serving on OneOf’s Board of Directors to help guide and accelerate their growth.”
OneOf’s founder and CEO, Lin Dai, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Steve to join our board and leadership team.”
“Web3 will revolutionize how brands connect with the consumers of the future. Steve’s expertise across music, entertainment, and consumer brands is the perfect addition to OneOf’s leadership team.”
Lin Dai, OneOf
“Web3 will revolutionize how brands connect with the consumers of the future. Steve’s expertise across music, entertainment, and consumer brands is the perfect addition to OneOf’s leadership team. With his guidance, we look forward to advancing our mission to lower the barriers to entry into Web3 for enterprises and consumers alike.”
Last year, Cooper told analysts during a WMG earnings call that the adoption of Web3 will amplify the significance of labels and publishers.
“Web3 represents an exciting future for the music industry that will help our artists reach millions upon millions of new fans in interesting and innovative ways,” Cooper said at the time.
“The technology of blockchain, the perils of navigating crypto [and] the skill sets required to deal with distributed autonomous organizations will require organizations like us that have the financial resources [and] the intellectual capital.”
“By that I mean the specific skill sets, and the global footprint to be able to help our artists and songwriters not only navigate through this brave new world, or brave new universe, but navigate successfully in order to optimize their presence inside the world of Web3 and to optimize their revenue options and their revenue alternatives inside of Web3,” Cooper added.
Music Business Worldwide