Sean “Diddy” Combs To Launch Music Themed Cable Network: How His Passion For Music “Moves The Needle” On Pop Culture
Yesterday, BroadcastingandCable.com reported exclusively that Hip Hop Mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs has plans to add cable network owner to his list of many titles. Sources with knowledge of Combs’ plans have said he will launch a new music themed network known as Revolt. One source described the new media venture, “as the old days of MTV, but for more of the African American audience.”
Sources say that former MTV programming chief Andy Schuon is involved with Revolt. Prior to Revolt, Schuon’s founded Vivendi/Universal’s, IMF, (International Music Feed), a 24 hour music network. IMF was discontinued when it was acquired by Ovation TV in 2008.
It’s too early to tell, but many suspect that cable and multimedia giant Comcast is likely to be distributing Revolt as part of its commitment to the FCC to help launch minority owned networks. This is because corporate press materials from April indicate that Comcast began soliciting proposals for “independent channels,” with the intent of launching 10 separate networks in the next eight years. A Comcast source told Broadcasting And Cable that if Revolt does become one of these 10 new networks in development, it will be added to “select Comcast systems as part of the D1 digital tier,” indicating a projected launch of 10 million house holds for Revolt to initially reach.
Comcast would not officially confirm if they were involved with the new network, saying no announcements have been made regarding the “well over 100” proposals that could potentially be one of the 10 green lit networks that are part of this media expansion effort. The rep says that negotiations are still in progress and they hope to have an answer soon.
Although Comcast was unable to comment at this time, some version of Revolt, and/or a Diddy owned network is in discussion through out the cable industry. Sources say that Time Warner Cable may also be interested in distributing Diddy’s new network. A rep for the cable distributor has been quoted as saying, “some discussions” regarding Revolt and Diddy has taken place, but that Time Warner did not have an official comment.
Though distribution commitments have yet to be officially confirmed, several media sources are indicating that Diddy’s Revolt will be “ready for business” by December. Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment had no comment on Revolt at this time. It will be interesting to see how and if this network comes to be.
While Combs’ business ventures outside of media like Sean John Clothing Inc. and Ciroc Vodka have remained a strong prsence in the marketplace, Revolt is now an example of his aspirations to also continue to grow within the entertainment world. Since he was a teenager Combs has always had a strong desire to not only be a part of the music industry, but also use his knowledge of branding marketing, and over all image to push the boundries of where it could go. This is an example of what his new business partner, Interscope Records co-founder and chairman, Jimmy Iovine has called “moving the needle” in his “Tanning Eeffect” interview with advertising executive, Steve Stout. Now after being a record executive, performer, song writer and producer, Revolt will provide Combs an opportunity to “Move the needle” for the music industry to the ultimate level.
Diddy and his team will more than likely fuel Revolt with a rejuvenated passion for doing music oriented projects. That passion’s effectiveness in the market place can already be seen through the efforts of Bad Boy Records’ the newly formed relationship with Interscope. Since teaming up with Interscope’s Iovine, Combs has made a sincere effort to rebrand his flagship company, wth the exciting new talent of rappers Machine Gun Kelly and French Montana, as well as helping breathe new life in the career of acclaimed rapper, Red Cafe. This is all hapening while Diddy and other movers and shakers with Interscope, are helping reinvent the revenue stream for the music business. Diddy’s, “Diddy Beat” headphones hardware with Beats By Dr. Dre, and Bad Boy’s music used in commercials synergistically promoting it, is helping show that music brands are just as quantifiable as they have ever been. The culture of music and its experience is the same in many ways. The product sold is what evolving. This kind of free innovative thinking, combined with Combs’ career defining passion to break new ground shows that Revolt has potential to really be a trail blazer for music’s life and role on television.
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