Ex-WMG Innovation Chief Scott Cohen Named CEO of Music Investing Platform
Former Warner Music Group executive and the Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen said on Tuesday (Nov. 1) he is taking a new job as chief executive officer of a fintech platform aimed at selling fractional shares in song catalogs.
Cohen, who stepped down from his role as chief innovation officer at WMG in September, said the aim of the new venture is to “fractionalize ownership of music royalties.”
Fractional shares are a well-known concept in finance. Brokers Robinhood and Fidelity Investments offer them as a way of buying a fraction of a stock for less than the full price. The world’s largest music companies, as well as money managers, have traditionally had access to the market for investing in music publishing rights.
Fractional shares could change this by allowing smaller investors to join the large-spending private equity funds and major labels.
In an email to Billboard, Cohen said has already secured rights from major artists and catalogs, and his team is now working to build the platform’s technology.
Cohen stated that “We have an aggressive timeline,” but declined to give a date for the venture’s launch to outside investors.
Prior to joining WMG in 2019, Cohen founded the Orchard with Richard Gottehrer in 1997 and built it into the largest independent distributor on iTunes when the download platform launched in 2003. Cohen and Gottehrer sold Orchard to Dimensional Associates in the same year. This private equity arm of JDS Capital Management subsequently expanded into video, music licensing and marketing & analytics.
In 2015, Sony Music Entertainment bought out Dimensional Associates for $200 million, and in 2017 merged it with RED into a single global distribution entity operating under the Orchard brand.
Cohen has yet to name his new venture, but he described the potential and aspirations of the venture as “transformational” in the music industry.
Cohen wrote, “I am only interested to do things at scale.”
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I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.