Revolt TV CEO on Sean Combs’ Plan to Conquer Cable

From left to right: Andy Schuon, Sean Combs and Keith Clinkscales

Keith Clinkscales says the new all-music channel will lure millennials with social marketing and irresistible programming: “When you come to Revolt, you’re getting a full picture of what is happening in the world of music.”

Sean Combs is betting big on Revolt TV. At 5 p.m. PST Monday, the all-music channel goes live in the homes of about 22 million Comcast subscribers and 12 million Time Warner Cable customers, marking one of the biggest launches of a cable channel in years. Revolt TV is the latest brainchild of Combs (aka Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy), a serial entrepreneur who has found success in music as an executive and hip-hop artist as well as in fashion, liquor, marketing and more, helping him accumulate a fortune that Forbes estimated in 2012 at $550 million.

Now, seven years after he first conceived of a new kind of all-music channel, Combs is pouring tens of millions of that into launching a service aimed at 18- to 34-year-olds — members of the millennial generation — who consume more music than ever but not necessarily in the traditional ways of listening to the radio or watching cable TV. In fact, they are the generation often described as “cord cutters,” because they haven’t rushed to subscribe to cable and often are more likely to view TV on a mobile phone or tablet computer than on the living-room flat screen.

Combs has chosen Keith Clinkscales, who helped Quincy Jones launch Vibe magazine and spent years doing content development for ESPN, to be CEO of Revolt TV. He hired former MTV programming chief Andy Schuon as president. They have been working with a team of more than 100 other hires, mostly atLos Angeles headquarters and in New York City, to figure out how to make the all-music formula work on TV.Clinkscales says it’s a good time to launch because music and digital consumption are both up.

“You have more and more bands and artists going across the whole ecosystem. Music is very healthy,” Clinkscales tells The Hollywood Reporter. “To have a place that can be the center of that — we would like to earn that position by reaching our fans well. We have to have good access and engage with the artists and be able to go ahead and provide sponsors, advertisers, and record companies a place where we can meet.”

Two decades after he founded Bad Boy Records, Combs at 44 seems confident he can reach the younger generation and build a significant business by connecting with his audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media as a way to lure them to his cable channel. He calls it the first launch in the era of social media.

His pitch is simple. It will be fresh and unlike what you have seen before. “I said it twice,” he recently tweeted, “and imma say it again. No Rules. Anything can happen. @RevoltTV.