Sean Combs takes his all-music channel seriouslyNEW YORK - Sean Combs’ new Revolt channel launched with a nod to big dreams and its founder’s musical past, bringing a new outlet for music to television.
Despite some technical glitches in its opening Monday, Combs aspires to nothing less than making Revolt the ESPN of music, with well-curated playlists and a strong focus on industry news.
“I want to know, who is Taylor Swift?” Combs said. “Why is Miley Cyrus twerking? Why did Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake go on tour? Why did Kanye West call his daughter ‘North’? The industry of music is just as important, or more important, as the industry of sports. Sports are covered in a serious manner and we want to follow in those footsteps.”
Most fans watch videos online or on demand these days, despite the existence of MTV’s networks, Fuse and BET. The struggling music industry doesn’t spend as much producing flashy videos as it did in MTV’s heyday. Networks that have started out primarily with videos moved on, primarily because the format is unattractive to advertisers.
“We’re just going to do it better,” said Val Boreland, Revolt’s chief programming executive. Combs said he wants a network where people program from the gut instead of sales charts, citing legendary DJ Frankie Crocker and “Soul Train.”
Boreland said Revolt will stay in contact with viewers through social media and said Fuse, for example, does not have a strong connection with fans.
Revolt will air videos almost exclusively with a few news reports sprinkled in until January, when a new studio in Los Angeles opens for artist interviews and concerts.
Combs was compelled to release a video a few weeks ago making clear that Revolt will cover all forms of music. One of its two announced shows will focus exclusively on rock.
“People have made an assumption, because I’m a hip-hop artist and I’m African-American, that I’m going to try to make a second version of BET,” Combs said, “which I’m not.” AP