Live from the Samsung SMART Studio at CES 2013, Shira Lazar and Ethan Newberry chat with Russell Simmons and Awesomeness TV CEO Brian Robbins about their upcoming collaborative “All Def Digital” YouTube network, which Simmons projects as a production empire of music, comedy, poetry, and much more.
“In terms of just taking artists and broadening them across different media, I think that there’s no one really there managing them properly,” Simmons says. “I just think that there’s a hole in the market.”
While Simmons already has his GlobalGrind.com site up and running, he still has big ambitions to realize online. “America is integrating and this is post-racial America. And it’s underserved,” he says. “I think that people consume content differently from the way that most people are putting it out […] and that’s what I want to do.”
And it looks as if he’s found the perfect partner for his project: Brian Robbins. The two actually go way back in terms of working in the entertainment industry. Robbins managed to convince Russell to star in the first movie that the young filmmaker ever produced and directed. Now, Robbins is riding the recent launch of his own Awesomeness TV channel, which has emerged as YouTube’s destination for teen/tween content. He says, “If MTV, Nickelodeon and the CW had a baby, that would be Awesomeness.”
For “All Def Digital,” which launches in the spring, he’s taking that penchant for churning out professional content and mapping it onto a platform for an urban, millenial audience.
“This is an opportunity for someone like Russell, someone like myself to build the cable networks of tomorrow,” Robbins says. “Who better than Russell to speak to this audience?”
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