Russell Simmons, Brian Robbins and Steve Rifkind Partner with Universal Music
Group to Launch Next-Generation Music Label, All Def Music
The first label created to sign, develop and promote artists on YouTube will
Leverage the Power of New Multi-Channel Network, All Def Digital (ADD)
Renowned Music Entrepreneur Steve Rifkind Named CEO of ADD Management and All
SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 23, 2013
SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Music Group
(UMG) announced today that it has partnered with Russell Simmons, Brian
Robbins and Steve Rifkind to launch All Def Music, the first major
label-affiliated music company created specifically to sign, develop and
promote artists on YouTube. The label will leverage the All Def Digital
platform, a new channel and forthcoming multi-channel network on YouTube
founded by Russell Simmons and Brian Robbins with funding from YouTube, which
will produce cutting-edge programming featuring an array of culturally diverse
talent. As part of the announcement, ADD appointed renowned music industry
entrepreneur, Steve Rifkind to president and CEO of All Def Music and ADD
Management. ADD will launch in the 3^rd quarter of 2013.
Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG said, "The exponential growth of
Internet-based video has created a powerful new outlet for music and
music-based content, and the launch of All Def Music is a part of our broader
strategy to partner with some of the most experienced entrepreneurs in media
and technology to identify future stars and develop powerful content on the
world's fastest growing media platform."
Grainge added, "As one of the most successful entrepreneurs in media, Russell
has built a global organization based on developing cutting-edge entertainment
for generations of fans. We're excited to partner with Russell as he extends
his incredible track record to platforms such as YouTube, and I'm thrilled
that we can welcome Russell back to the UMG family where he has been
instrumental to this company's evolution with Def Jam. In addition, Brian
Robbins' proven track record of exceptional content creation specifically
designed to harness the power of YouTube has made him one of the most
successful producers in media today.And with Steve's wealth of experience as
a music entrepreneur, I couldn't think of a better executive to launch this
Russell Simmons said, "I look forward to working with the extraordinary talent
from the vastly creative YouTube ecosystem in the same way I've worked with
musicians, poets, comedians and designers all my life. This is the most
exciting new terrain for me, to move talent across all media platforms and I
couldn't have better partners in Brian and Steve, and the most innovative of
music executives, Lucian Grainge."
Brian Robbins said, "I'm thrilled to be in business with an impresario like
Russell Simmons and a distinguished entrepreneur like Steve Rifkind to
leverage digital and build ADD into the biggest and brightest urban brand."
Steve Rifkind said, "Over the course of my entire career, I've never been more
excited than I am today about the potential for innovation in music. Tapping
into YouTube's fertile creative platform, we intend to identify, develop and
nurture music's next generation of superstar talent. Alongside Russell, Brian
and the incredible team at UMG, I look forward to building All Def Music into
a global music label for the new age."
"We're excited to see what this innovative collaboration will yield," said
Robert Kyncl, Head of Content and Business Operations at YouTube. "The launch
of All Def Music will amplify YouTube's role as a launchpad for both
established artists and the next generation of musical talent."
The first signings to ADD Management include John A. Baker, Jr.,
professionally known as "Spoken Reasons," a poet, comedian and musician, who
has more than 1.3 million YouTube subscribers. In addition, as part of its
YouTube original content slate, ADD announced the development of an unscripted
music-themed show with rapper Asher Roth titled "Lemonade." Already Roth has
garnered more than 20 million views on YouTube.
About Rush Digital Media
Rush Digital Media is a new generation media company launched by Russell
Simmons to specifically target the YouTube platform and beyond. It will work
with partners GlobalGrind.com, Google/YouTube and other partners to bring a
new generation of entertainment to the 1 billion screens around the world
seeking exciting content that speaks to a new and rapidly evolving culture.
About Brian Robbins
Brian Robbins is one of the entertainment industry's most prolific producers
of television, film and digital media. As founder of AwesomenessTV, which
launched in July 2012, he helms one of the fastest growing teen and tween
destinations on YouTube. The AwesomenessTV banner includes AwesomenessTV, a
channel featuring scripted and reality series and the ATVNetwork, a
community-based MCN focused on discovering and supporting the next generation
of YouTube stars, with over 70,000 channels of teen content creators who have
accumulated over one billion views.
As the co-founder of Tollin/Robbins Productions and the founder and president
of Varsity Pictures, Robbins is best known for executive producing numerous
popular and critical television hits aimed at teens and young audiences,
including the long-running CW series Smallville and One Tree Hill,
Nickelodeon's All That and Kenan and Kel, as well as directing and/or
producing films such as Paramount's Coach Carter, Hardball and Varsity Blues.
Prior to AwesomenessTV, Robbins financed, produced, and distributed the
feature film FRED: The Movie and its ensuing sequels Night of the Living FRED
and Fred 3: Camp Fred, as well as FRED The Show which debuted on Nickelodeon,
all of which were based on teenage character Lucas Cruikshank.
Robbins won a Directors Guild Award, a Peabody Award, and has been nominated
for the Emmy Award.
About Steve Rifkind
Steve Rifkind, one of the most experienced executives in the music industry,
founded both Loud Records and SRC Records. Recognized as a pioneer of hip-hop
music and culture, Rifkind has long been associated with such artists as Akon,
Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Three Six Mafia, Big Pun, Xzibit, David Banner,
Melanie Fiona and many others. In addition to managing the careers of some of
the music's biggest artists, Rifkind also spearheaded a number of high profile
national marketing campaigns for such companies as Nike, T-Mobile and HBO.
ABOUT UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP
Universal Music Group is the global music leader, with wholly owned operations
in 60 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing
Group, one of the industry's premier music publishing operations worldwide.
Universal Music Group's labels include A&M/Octone, Angel, Astralwerks, Blue
Note Records, Capitol Christian Music Group, Capitol Records, Capitol Records
Nashville, Caroline, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa,
Emarcy, EMI Records Nashville, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Harvest, Interscope
Records, Island Records, Machete Music, Manhattan, MCA Nashville, Mercury
Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Republic Records,
Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group, Virgin Records, Virgin EMI Records,
as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record
company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most
extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100
years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG's
catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music
Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the
U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business, its new
media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company.
Universal Music Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi.
SOURCE Universal Music Group
Contact: Maria Ho-Burge, Maria.Ho-Burge@umusic.com, 212-331-2569
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