Wednesday 24 July 2013, 12:02 | By

Def Jam founder launches new YouTube-focused label

Business News Labels & Publishers

Russell Simmons

Def Jam co-founder and hip hop’s social conscience Russell Simmons is teaming up with film producer Brian Robbins and music business exec Steve Rifkind to launch a new company called All Def Music, which will look to build communities and businesses for artists around their YouTube channels.

The new venture combines more conventional artist management and record label businesses with the emerging markets for studios that sign up creative talent with an existing YouTube following, and help them grow their business interests by maximising revenue from the video website and looking for other content distribution and brand partnership opportunities.

A joint venture with Universal Music, the new company capitalises on Simmons’ existing YouTube-focused business All Def Digital, and will also include a specific talent management wing called ADD Management.

Confirming the new company would sit within Universal Music’s only slightly evil empire, the boss of the mega-major, Lucian Grainge, told reporters: “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”.

Meanwhile Simmons said: “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”.


  • CMU Podcast: Adele, Cox Communications, Paul Weller, Dancing Jesus
  • German supreme court says web-blocks allowed
  • IPO confirms no current plans to revisit private copy exception
  • Here’s another story about Adele breaking sales records, and some tour dates to flesh it out
  • Jack Garrett wins BRITs Critics’ Choice