Sean Combs gears up to launch his music television channel for young 'millennials'

Cannes

The rap music impresario Sean Combs has gone on a charm offensive to woo the world's biggest advertisers as he gears up for the launch of his new television channel, called Revolt TV, aimed at what he calls "millennials" – people in their teens and early twenties who were born just before the new millennium.

Mr Combs, better known as Puff Daddy and P Diddy, told the Cannes Lions festival of creativity that he was prompted to launch his own music channel after "MTV stopped playing music" in favour of lifestyle programmes. "We did not have an ESPN of music, we did not have a CNN of music," he said.

ESPN is the broadcaster he most admires. "They cover sport in the most detailed ways. They cover it in a way that is credible, that you trust," he said.

Mr Combs is a rapper and producer who became an entrepreneur, setting up a string of businesses from Bad Boy Records to his Sean John clothing label. He said that traditional record labels have still not moved fast enough to embrace new business models. "I have my own record label and I can say that kids will not be utilising record companies in the next two years."

He claimed that Revolt TV would attract young people through digital and mobile. "Some people say the music business is in the worst shape it's ever been, but it's just the business model that some people are using. The music industry is probably at an all-time high, with more consumption than ever."

Mr Combs said that as a father of six children aged from six to 22, he had "the perfect research group" to test his ideas, but joked: "I asked them if they like to be called millennials and they said, 'Hell no!'" He told his audience of marketers, "I need you guys" to back his TV network, due to launch this year.

He said that Sir Richard Branson was an inspiration, adding: "I like to come in and disrupt an industry and be authentic."

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