Universal Music Group has partnered with industry veterans Russell Simmons, Brian Robbins and Steve Rifkind to launch what their calling a "next-generation" label. All Def Music will be the first major label-affiliated music company created specifically to sign, develop and promote artists on YouTube.
The new label will leverage All Def Digital, a new channel and forthcoming multi-channel network on YouTube founded by Simmons and Robbins with funding from YouTube. Steve Rifkind will serve as president and CEO of All Def Music and ADD Management which will launch in the 3rd quarter of this year.
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.” Roth has already garnered more than 20 million views on YouTube.
Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG said in the announcement that , “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.”