Lyor Cohen hails Tuma Basa's arrival at YouTube


The man who curated Spotify’s all-conquering Rap Caviar playlist has officially joined YouTube as director of urban music.

According to YouTube, Tuma Basa – who left his role as Spotify’s global programming head of hip-hop in March – will “lead activities that draw on his deep industry connections and expertise in programming to increase our engagement with the urban music community, artists and consumers”.

It’s the latest move from YouTube global head of music Lyor Cohen, who said: “Tuma brings a deep knowledge of the music industry with many years of experience at BET, MTV, Revolt and most recently, Spotify. His experience will be invaluable to the music journey we are on at YouTube, connecting artists and fans across the globe, and I am thrilled to welcome his voice to our collective efforts.”

Cohen has been transforming the video streaming service’s operations since joining in 2016. The legendary label exec has been particularly busy in recent months, launching YouTube’s long-awaited subscription service, adding songwriter credits to videos and expanding its Artist On The Rise programme. Such moves all form part of his efforts to lobby the industry hard over YouTube’s ability to break new artists and rival the likes of Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music in the struggle for global streaming supremacy.

To read Music Week’s analysis of why YouTube’s new subscription service needs to be a hit for the music biz, click here.

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