Nearly 30 years after launching hip-hop's most iconic music label Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons has teamed with Universal Music Group to launch the first major-label affiliated music company catered to signing artists from YouTube.
Universal Music Group (UMG) announced Tuesday (July 23) that it has partnered with Simmons, Brian Robbins and Steve Rifkind to launch All Def Music, a platform looking to capitalize on the digital boom in independent artists. The Youtube-based endeavor All Def Digital will premiere on the video-sharing site later this year.
"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," said Simmons. "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."
Both companies are set to begin operations in the third quarter of 2013.