Earlier this year, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons announced that he was collaborating with veteran TV producer and AwesomenessTV founder Brian Robbins on a YouTube multi-channel network called “All Def Digital.” The channel would focus on a general variety of content, including music, poetry and comedy.
While the “All Def Digital” network has yet to launch, Simmons and Robbins are working on another YouTube-related venture. This time, it’s a record label that focuses on discovering and developing musicians who are on YouTube.
Cnet reported that they will launch the All Def Music label in collaboration with Universal Music Group later this summer. Steve Rifkind, known for discovering legendary hip-hop artists like the Wu-Tang Clan and Three 6 Mafia, will be president and CEO of the label.
Simmons, who is known for founding hip-hop label Def Jam Records with fellow producer Rick Rubin, told Cnet that he wanted his new label to find YouTube musicians and help cultivate them before they become internet famous.
He said: “There’s a lot happening online that’s not being managed properly. These artists are in separate worlds, and not everything bubbles up to the top. That’s my job.”
While Simmons brings his three decades of music experience to All Def Music, Robbins, who is known for producing teen television shows such as “One Tree Hill” and “All That,” brings to the table his own success on YouTube. He founded the teen-oriented YouTube network AwesomenessTV last year, which boasts popular programs like “Runaways” and “Mindless Takeover” featuring the boy band Mindless Behavior.
Less than a year after it launched, Dreamworks Animation bought the channel in May for $33 million, and the network recently launched an original comedy series on TV channel Nickelodeon, where Robbins’ sitcoms once aired.
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