Blue Ivy. Budweiser. Barclays. Brooklyn Nets. YouTube.
To sayJay-Z has had a busy year would be an understatement, and now therapper/entrepreneur is adding a new venture to his crowded plate: aYouTube Channel.
Jay-Z's Life+Times channel will launch Saturdayat 9:30 p.m. ET with a live stream of his final sold-out concert at theBarclays Center in Brooklyn. (Which also happens to be the home court ofthe Brooklyn Nets, the NBA team that lists him as a minority owner.)
"Hisphilosophy has always been to do things out of the box, do them first,do them in a surprising way," says IconicTV co-founder and chiefcreative officer Michael Hirschorn of his company's collaboration withJay-Z and YouTube. "I think that's one of the main reasons he has kepthis brand as fresh and robust as he has because he's constantlysurprising the public with what he's doing."
The channel, anoffshoot of Jay-Z's personal blog by the same name, will featureoriginal video content including the Brooklyn Nets docu-series The Road to Brooklyn, the fan-interaction show Roc Nation Check-In and Well Dunn With Jourdan Dunn, which follows the exploits of the British supermodel.
Hirschorn says the channel will operate like a television network,right down to monetizing through advertising.
"Thesite really is a way for Jay to showcase the breadth of his interests,from fashion, architecture, music, style, food, consumables,electronics, and so forth," Hirschorn says. "We're approaching thischannel and programming it, not at the level of an MTV or a BET - atleast, not yet - but really programming it as a real channel that willhave regular content, some featuring him, some under his creativedirection, but that when he wants to reach his audience, he's no longergoing to have to go through an intermediary to get to that audience."
Jay-Z is among the latest spate of stars entering into digital content creation. This summer, Tom Hanks launched the web series Electric City on Yahoo, Larry King brought news to Hulu and Jerry Seinfeld premiered the comedy series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee on Crackle. Plus, upcoming and ongoing YouTube star collaborations include Pharell Williams, Queen
Latifah and Shaquille O'Neal.
"Sincelast October, over a hundred original channels have launched on YouTubethat bring users more great content across any area of interest ...across any device, anywhere," says YouTube's Global head of music ChrisMaxcy. "We're thrilled to include (Jay-Z) in a slate of originalprogramming that gives people worldwide more of the content they'repassionate about from the artists and brands they love."