l to r: Steve Rifkind, Russell Simmons, Todd Pendleton and DJ Skee at launch of ADD52 at SXSW
Russell Simmons and Steve Rifkind, co-founders of All Def Digital (ADD) and All Def Music, along with Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung Mobile) and Narrative_ announced the launch of ADD52 in partnership with the world’s leading music entertainment company Universal Music Group (UMG). ADD52 is an innovative emerging artist platform that will debut one original music single and video each week by emerging, unsigned artists for fifty-two consecutive weeks.
Using an open platform, ADD52 is built to attract musicians around the world who have an original song and the dream of a record deal. To take their shot, artists simply post their tracks to ADD52.com, then use the various tools at their fingertips to promote on the site and across social media.
Acting as a new kind of A&R engine, ADD52 relies on a proprietary algorithm that bubbles the best talent to the top through a data set that blends views, watch times, engagement cues, social activity, influencer interest and more.
“For artists, it’s the place to be discovered. For music lovers, it’s the place to discover,” explains Mr. Simmons.
In addition to the ADD52 digital and social presence, Samsung’s new radio streaming service, Milk Music, will be a core platform to showcase the emerging artists and their music on a dedicated, curated ADD52 station available exclusively on Milk. Available now through Google Play for select Samsung Galaxy smartphones, Milk is a new, free* and ad-free radio service that offers an effortless and entertaining way to enjoy the music you love and discover new, unexpected music. Fully customizable, Milk is designed with an elegant, easy-to-use interface and more than 200 stations that makes tuning into your favorite music a more enjoyable and enriching experience.
“At Samsung we’re about introducing The Next Big Thing and together with ADD52 we’re giving emerging artists the platform to launch their careers,” said Todd Pendleton, chief marketing officer for Samsung Telecommunications America. “Milk is all about discovering new music and the music you already love and now it will give up-and-coming artists an incredible opportunity to be heard by millions.”
Selected artists will enjoy more than just desired exposure – they are also eligible for production budgets to create their own music videos and remixes, access to world-class studios, and mentorship from industry legends.
“This type of artist empowerment marks huge progress for the music industry,” Rifkind said. “The artists will be featured on multiple platforms including Samsung’s new Milk radio service, ADD52 TV show hosted by DJ Skee as well as music for the HoopMixtape franchise, which collectively have viewership in the millions.”
With community-sourced music content at its core, ADD52 will expand into a content ecosystem that includes audio, music videos, profiles, live performances, collaborations with established stars, and a slate of artist-focused video content that will live on ADD’s growing YouTube channel.
“ADD52 represents the kind of innovation and experimentation the industry needs,” said Chairman and CEO of UMG Lucian Grainge. “It is also the very kind of progressive thinking and willingness to explore new areas that we’d hoped to see when we partnered with Russell, Steve and the All Def Digital team, and we are pleased to be a part of it.”
Co-founded in 2013 by Simmons and Tricia Clarke-Stone (CEO), Narrative_ plays a vital role in bringing ADD52 to life and sustaining engagement over the long run. “Success will be driven by a variety of factors that start with user experience, and ladder up to a whole new generation of superstars” Clarke-Stone said.
*Milk is available now exclusively for Galaxy consumers to download on Google Play on the Galaxy S 4, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S 4 mini across all carrier and retail channels as well as the Galaxy S 5 in April.