At a time when young people are increasingly turning to the a la carte offerings of the internet for entertainment instead of mass media like TV and print, the rapper and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs will try to buck the trend when his new music television network, Revolt, launches in October.
Though MTV has long since abandoned music-centric programming in favor of more profitable reality television and other fare, Combs is hoping to make Revolt the sort of tent pole network for young people that MTV once was, or the all-encompassing music destination that ESPN is for sports.
"Currently, music doesn't have one central headquarters," Diddy told Ad Age. "We don't have our ESPN of music, our CNN of music, our Golf Channel of music. We want to be a home for artists who are now homeless."
Though many harbor nostalgia for the old days of "I want my MTV" and Total Request Live, the TV channel currently most dedicated to airing music videos, Fuse, is currently being shopped by its parent company, MSG.
Though Revolt will include a fully-integrated media buffet (Tumblr, Instagram, mobile apps with 15-second clips), it is pitching itself as a something-for-everyone music outlet that just doesn't really exist anymore in a world where electronic dance music festivals can draw huge crowds without its artists getting much in the way of U.S. radio play.
Diddy says Revolt will use its transcendent tastemaking to draw millennial viewers from online music curators like the popular blogs Pitchfork and Stereogum, and streaming music services like Pandora, Spotify, and now, iTunes Radio.
While it's true that Diddy is known for his ability to spot a superstar (he made his name in the music business by launching the careers of Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., among others), it remains to be seen whether he will be able to get young people to stay put in front of the television long enough to get their attention.
"There are a lot of semi-artists with wack music that have snuck in the last decade," Diddy told Ad Age. "We are looking to push artists to give the most of themselves. There's a time for one-hit wonders. What makes us different is curation and our track record; we know how to pick them."Head over to Ad Age to read the rest of the Diddy's interview >>
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