GETPlugged: Russell Simmons Launches YouTube Talent Label


Music mogul Russell Simmons is looking for talent on YouTube.

Simmons, who founded record label Def Jam in the 80, has partnered with Universal Music Group, Brian Robbins and Steve Rifkind to launch All Def Music to find talented people on YouTube.

“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,” Simmons told Global Grind.

“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,” Simmons said.

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According to Global Grind, the label will be aimed at ‘developing and promoting’ talent on YouTube.

“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,” Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Lucian Grainge is quoted by Global Grind as saying.

The label has already signed its first artist, rapper Asher Roth. Simmons under Def Jam Recordings launched the careers of ‘LL Cool J’ and the ‘Beastie Boys’ among others.

The channel comes months after British pop mogul Simon Cowell launched his own online talent contest, inviting wanna-bee stars from around the world to post clips of their skills on YouTube.

“The X Factor” and “Got Talent” guru Cowell joined forces with the video sharing platform to run 26 biweekly contests, called “The You Generation”, for hopefuls in 26 countries over the next 12 months.

“We wanted to devise a way that it’s easier for you to get noticed,” explained Cowell in an interview in his padded-wall office posted on the “You Generation” channel.

Contestants immediately began uploading videos in a host of categories, vocalists to chefs to make-up artists, after an hour-long introduction, live on YouTube, by the Cowell-managed Brit boy band One Direction.

Entries will be judged by talent scouts at Cowell’s production company, in a joint venture with Japanese electronics and entertainment powerhouse Sony.

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