By C.N. Staff Writer
There is a new music channel that is set to offer an alternative to MTV, BET and VH1. Revolt TV, which launched October 21st is gearing up for what founder, Sean Combs hopes to become a takeover of music television. Combs, a mainstay in the music industry have built several businesses around his name becoming a serial entrepreneur. His businesses have stretched beyond music into other ventures like fashion, liquor, marketing and more. Well known as being the hit producer behind the Notorious B.I.G., he went on to launch his own rap career and found his own label, Bad Boy Records. But now he has his money behind television, where he is putting millions of dollars into developing this new station, which is aimed at millennials- 18- to 34-year-olds, who are considered to consume more music through non-traditional mediums.
Combs tapped former magazine executive Keith Clinkscales as Chief Executive Officer of the new venture, who has a track record from helping launch Vibe Magazine and worked at ESPN for a number of years. In a sit and chat interview at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center on the St. Elizabeth’s East campus in mid October, Clinkscales talked about the vision of Revolt TV.
In a moderated panel discussion he said, “We are trying to cover music the way CNN covers news, the way ESPN covers sports.” Clinkscales said that although there are other stations that cover music, Revolt would provide a wider range of coverage for music. He noted that other stations have ventured into reality TV and even shows that have no focus on music. At Revolt, he said viewers could expect to learn about music newsmakers, but also get coverage behind-the-scenes at concerts, music festivals and related events.
Clinkscales said Revolt is working on developing content that will keep their viewers hooked on the channel through a combination of social media, online presence. They hope to capture not only the musical environment, but culture and fashion. Clinkscales said the channel has been aware that their branding may be precieved to be hip-hop because Combs is the founder. However, he said they would cover every angle of music, not just black music or hip-hop music. In a question from the audience about world music and underground music, Clinkscales said the channel has teams of people focused on finding and highlighting new music from around the world and they give weekly reports about new artists to watch. He said viewers should expect the coverage of many genres to grow as the channel’s programming is developed.
Asked what one of the biggest challenges for the station thus far and Clinkscales said it is distribution. However, he said having a Sean Combs in the room when you are in front of big companies helps. He said one of their early investors is Proctor and Gamble and “having someone like him when your going to talk to people has been an effective asset.”
When asked how it has been working with Combs, Clinkscales said, “Sean is a man of his word. When it comes to selling something he is a force.”