Russell Simmons is set to launch a label with YouTube and Universal Records called All Def Music. The mogul plans to use YouTube to find new talent and promote and develop artists using the site’s channels.
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“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.
Many artists have been discovered through YouTube, including Justin Bieber in a video of him covering Ne-Yo’s “So Sick.” Other artists have turned down offers from major labels, opting to launch their careers through video sharing. Lady Gaga‘s manager took notice of violinist Lindsey Sterling, whose most popular video has 56 million views, and the musician declined offers from major labels.
“When you’re a YouTuber you have a creative control because it’s just you and your audience,” said Sterling.
It’s this kind of talent that Simmons hopes to harvest at All Def Music. “This is the most exciting new terrain for me,” he said.