Music/new media vet Ted Cohen is leaving EMI Music effective today to form TAG Strategic with streaming media expert Gary Price and a film industry exec to be identified later. The LA-based firm launches officially July 5. … Cohen shut down a consulting practice in May 2000 to help EMI develop its digital strategy as an in-house evangelist and strategist. (He famously turned down an offer to head upstart Napster.) He leaves as SVP-digital development & distribution for EMI Music — and with EMI’s blessing; the company will be one of the new firm’s launch clients. Other launch clients include Muze, Gibson, PureVideo, Syncast and MeSoft.
Cohen could have returned to solo consulting but opted for an entertainment consultancy with a technological bent. Price describes his specialty as the “digital media lifecycle” — he was at AT&T and, among other projects, worked with ESPN to develop ESPN Motion, the NHL, CBS, Sony Music and Motorola. Their partner will bring film and video expertise.
Cohen, who manages to be everywhere without wearing out his welcome, was recently elected chairman of MEF Americas and will continue in that position. He also programs the annual Midemnet Forum.
As was the case with Jason Hirschhorn (no, they didn’t coordinate this) the surprise factor here is that Cohen lasted this long within a corporate structure like EMI. It gave him a solid base from which to work across the music and mobile industries at a time of great change; he helped the company move into the digital age.
— More in the LAT.
Rafat: Would be interesting to see who would step up to the top digital post at EMI. Tom Ryan is the top digital/mobile person at EMI now, as the senior VP of mobile and digital development for EMI Music (he was promoted to the position recently, from just North America to worldwide now). Or maybe Adam Klein, who is EMI the executive VP of strategy and business development at EMI, but does a lot on the digital side. Or maybe it will be status quoâ