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Lyor Cohen Names New Music Company After Spartan Warriors

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Former Def Jam and Warner Music Group chief Lyor Cohen has announced the full details of his new music company, which he’s launching with old Def Jam pals Todd Moscowitz and Kevin Liles. Not quite a record label, not quite a marketing company, the new venture is trying to create a template for the future of the music industry—which is why Cohen has named it 300, after the famous Spartan battle against the Persians, mythologized in the movie 300.

“It was a battle that changed the way wars are fought,” Cohen told Billboard magazine. “These guys found that if you were well synchronized, strategic, loyal with great planning and preparedness you could do much more with less and be highly effective.”

300 has already snagged financing from Google, which owns YouTube, and investment firm Columbus Nova, which has a stake in Rhapsody, meaning the company will be strongly aligned with many digital distributors and platforms. Cohen also grabbed a distribution deal with Atlantic, giving it a major label ally.

“I spent an enormous amount of time inside these digital distribution companies just talking and engaging with them and understanding what these companies now know about our music fans—something we in the music business never knew for all the years I’ve worked in it,” Cohen said. “I see a lot of opportunities and asked an insane amount of questions.”

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