Def Jam co-founder and industry icon Russell Simmons and music entrepreneur Steve Rifkind have partnered with Samsung to launch ADD52, a music platform for emerging unsigned artists. The announcement was made on Tuesday night at Samsung's Galaxy Experience pop-up venue at South by Southwest, Mashable reports.
ADD52 will debut one single and one video from an unsigned artist every week of the year (hence the 52; ADD comes from the duo's YouTube channel All Def Digital) to give them more exposure and secure funding for music videos, access to studios and industry professionals, and more.
Artists submit material to and promote themselves on ADD52.com, which will then select artists to pursue based on a proprietary algorithm that "will bubble up the best talent to the top through a data set that blends views, watch times, engagement cues, social activity, influencer interest and more," Rifkind, CEO of All Def Digital's label, All Def Music, tells Billboard.biz. "Those tracks will then be sent to Samsung's just-launched streaming service, Milk Music, on an ADD52 channel. From there, a panel of judges will select the one-per-week, which will then be available on the iTunes store."
These chosen artists will also be offered a contract with All Def Music as well as access to Universal Music Group (a partner in All Def Digital), which will include additional distribution of the artist's tracks and a promotional package. They will also be featured and promoted across All Def Digital's multichannel networks, including a TV show hosted by DJ Skee and the HoopMixtape franchise.
Rifkind says that he came up with the original idea for ADD52 a few years ago. "When I partnered with Russell and UMG [in 2013] we decided to bring the concept to fruition. It was through Narrative"-- a digital solutions company founded by Russell and former GlobalGrind.com co-president Tricia Clarke-Stone-- "that we saw all the synergies to unite with the most creative and exciting technology company, Samsung."
"With the launch of their Milk Radio platform, the timing could not have have been better," he adds.
Officially launched a little over six months ago, All Def Digital is a collaboration between Simmons' media company Rush Digital Media and Dreamworks Animation subsidiary Awesomeness TV, one of the most teen-trafficked video platforms. ADD has 220,000 subscribers and 40 million views.