Lyor Cohen: ‘Artists around the world are finding unique ways to shine light during this dark time.’

YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen, in his monthly newsletter sent out to music executives, has commented on how “impressed” and “inspired” he is by the music community’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Cohen starts the memo, issued last week, by echoing much of the world’s current thoughts about the pandemic, writing that “This feels surreal”.

Referring to YouTube’s ‘StayHome #WithMe‘ campaign, Cohen encourages readers to stay at home in order to “flatten the curve and help stop the spread of Coronavirus”.

He also uses the letter to provide guidance and advice about how to use YouTube to live stream and says that YouTube is “hard at work to provide all artists and our music partners with access to features that enable alternative sources of revenue, such as merchandise, or commerce products like Super Chat“.

Writes Cohen: “So many heroes out there are putting themselves in harm’s way for others. Our hearts and prayers are with you and we appreciate how you lead by example.

“The music industry is also being deeply affected directly and indirectly, yet we are still hit with the adrenaline shot, not fully coming to terms with how we are going to deal with all of this.

“I have received so many emails with ideas throughout the industry suggesting different ways we can all come together and help.”

“What’s truly amazing is to watch the organic explosion of creativity that is already happening… all led by artists. I’ve been so impressed, so inspired, by the music community we’re all humbled to be a part of.”

Lyor Cohen

He adds: “Yet what’s truly amazing is to watch the organic explosion of creativity that is already happening… all led by artists. I’ve been so impressed, so inspired, by the music community we’re all humbled to be a part of.

“Artists around the world are finding unique ways to shine light during this dark time, and to bring joy and reinforce their fans to stay home.”

You can read Lyor Cohen’s letter in full below:


This feels surreal. I’m up late every night glued to the news; feeling for those suffering. Not sure how to explain any of this to my children. My parents are 90, my mother is tough and is already telling me if she gets sick she is not going to occupy a hospital bed… “Son I am so old and lived a great life, those beds are for younger people”.

Wait a second, I haven’t exercised or eaten all day. Finding a rhythm is still off beat to me. Larry David has come in handy, and don’t get it twisted, I am so clear that I’m amongst the fortunate ones; healthy (at least for now), surrounded by family and working for an incredible company that gives me so many tools to work from home and of course, an income.

So many heroes out there are putting themselves in harm’s way for others. Our hearts and prayers are with you and we appreciate how you lead by example.

The music industry is also being deeply affected directly and indirectly, yet we are still hit with the adrenaline shot, not fully coming to terms with how we are going to deal with all of this. I have received so many emails with ideas throughout the industry suggesting different ways we can all come together and help.

“Don’t get it twisted, I am so clear that I’m amongst the fortunate ones; healthy (at least for now), surrounded by family and working for an incredible company that gives me so many tools to work from home and of course, an income.”

Yet what’s truly amazing is to watch the organic explosion of creativity that is already happening… all led by artists. I’ve been so impressed, so inspired, by the music community we’re all humbled to be a part of. Artists around the world are finding unique ways to shine light during this dark time, and to bring joy and reinforce their fans to stay home.

It’s critical we rally together and help make sure people stay home. We have launched a campaign called ‘StayHome #WithMe‘ to join the call to action for people around the world to stay home and save lives. This is so important. Staying home will flatten the curve and help stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As people stay home, we want to keep them informed, engaged and entertained. We believe that artists, creators and you, our partners, have an opportunity to help do the same for people around the world during a time when everyone is craving human connection. Music connects people, even when apart, so streaming is now more important than ever!

I’m in awe of artists – like Alejandro Sanz and JuanesYungBludLauvJ BalvinConan GrayAlec BenjaminSech and Rudy Mancuso – who have found unique ways to encourage people to stay home, while entertaining them. There are playlists of these streams on our YouTube Channel and we’re putting marketing focus behind ensuring as many fans as possible can see this incredible content.

I want to make sure everyone has the information they need to join us in continuing to raise awareness, and bring music to those at home when they need it most.

If you want details on how to join our ‘Stay Home #WithMe’ campaign please click here for more information, ways to participate, and a creative asset download link.

For helpful guidance and best practices on how to use YouTube to live stream, or optimize tune in for pre-recorded videos:

In our effort to be as helpful as possible to all of you in these unprecedented times, we are hard at work to provide all artists and our music partners with access to features that enable alternative sources of revenue, such as merchandise, or commerce products like Super Chat. For those artists who want to encourage community support for coronavirus relief funding, donations through YouTube Giving can be directed to an artist’s charity of choice in the US*.

We are in this together, doing our best to urgently find solutions. Please, please reach out if you have any suggestions. We all have a role to play. We are one music family. And we are thinking of you.

Thank you for reading. Stay home. Stay healthy.

More to come.

With love and respect,

LyorMusic Business Worldwide

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