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Russell Simmons’ digital label partners with Samsung

By | Published on Friday 11 July 2014

Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons and Steve Rifkind have announced a partnership between Samsung’s Milk Music streaming service and their ADD52 A&R platform.

ADD52 is part of music industry veterans Simmons and Rifkind’s All Def Music company, owned with film director Brian Robbins. The new partnership will see them release a new single every week for a year through Milk Music, chosen from submissions to the website.

“It leaves the door open where we can find the next Pharrell”, Simmons claimed to Billboard.

Launched in March, Milk is currently powered by Slacker Radio, a US-only digital service. As well as geographical limitations, the app is also only available to users of Samsung Galaxy phones, with two million app downloads reported to date.

Nevertheless, Simmons has spoken about the ability for this partnership to “break artists worldwide”, and ADD52 does accept submissions globally, even if the Milk alliance being limited to the US at this stage limits his claim. Also, Samsung eventually plans to charge for access to Milk, and it’s not at all certain that it’s offering something that people will want to pay for when it ceases to be free, so a long-term audience is far from assured.

But confident that they do have something people will want, Rifkind told Billboard: “The research we’re getting back is people who are coming to [Milk] aren’t necessarily wanting to hear Drake and all the hot records. They’re there to hear the new records that nobody has ever heard before”.

Here’s a video to explain further:

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