PR: Russell Simmons & Awesomeness Announce Collaboration
This morning at the “Anywhere, Anytime Content” panel at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), entrepreneur and Founder of Rush Digital Media Russell Simmons and AwesomenessTV creator Brian Robbins announced the partnership between Rush Digital Media and AwesomenessTV on the production, operation and marketing of Simmons’ YouTube Channel All Def Digital (ADD). ADD will formally launch in spring 2013 with the goal of producing and sharing cutting-edge programming from diverse talent to help broaden YouTube’s audience, much in the way Def Comedy broadened HBO. This announcement follows YouTube’s decision in October 2012 to fund Simmons’ channel as part of their expanded investment in original content.
“I’ve worked my entire professional life to promote new talent and the new art forms they create,” says Simmons. “YouTube creates huge opportunity for creativity and commerce to meet. This exciting new platform will benefit from having a network that reflects the increasing diversity of America. It complements rather than disrupts traditional media in that it creates opportunities for program creation and promotion between cable and streaming; it’s just the perfect place for me to be with a strong creative partner and friend like Brian Robbins.”
“Russell and I have been friends for a long time and first worked together on the 1995 documentary The Show, which spoke to a generation about the culture of hip hop,” adds Robbins. “We share a vision of how to reach increasingly diversifying American audiences via the YouTube platform, and I’m excited to open a new chapter with him and collaborate in the production and marketing of ADD.”
Prior to launch this spring, Simmons will be curating his favorite videos, shows and creators on www.YouTube.com/AllDefDigital and will be gathering input from fans, via Global Grind and his social communities, to determine the type of programming they want to see on the channel.
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 new content that speaks to a new and rapidly evolving culture. Simmons’ other category-creating ventures include Def Jam Recordings, Def Comedy Jam, Def Poetry Jam, Phat Fashions, Rush Card, and Global Grind.com.
AwesomenessTV is a new video destination for teens on YouTube featuring a broad cross section of series built around pop musicians, A-list athletes, TV personalities and YouTube stars. From talk shows to sketch comedy, plus scripted and reality, AwesomenessTV allows fans to experience their favorite celebrities in new ways, only on YouTube. Varsity Pictures, the production entity behind AwesomenessTV, is headed by Brian Robbins (Sonny With A Chance, Smallville, So Random, FRED) and Joe Davola (In Living Color, Smallville, MTV Networks). Robbins’ interest in the YouTube and web video space resulted from the massive success of FRED: THE MOVIE, based on the YouTube sensation Fred Figglhorn (900 million views). After building out the franchise on Nickelodeon (FRED 2: Night of the Living Fred, FRED: THE SHOW, and FRED 3: CAMP FRED), Robbins turned his attention to YouTube and the result is AwesomenessTV, one of the first channels ideated in the YouTube Original Programming initiative.
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