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Clinkscales Dances Into Digital TV

Music-themed Revolt TV is looking to keep the beat going for its brand in the digital space as it targets millennials across all platforms. Through content distribution deals such as its recent Microsoft Xbox One videogame console agreement, the network — founded by hip hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs — is embracing the digital world as a viable companion to its linear distribution. Revolt TV CEO Keith Clinkscales recently spoke to Multichannel News programming editor R. Thomas Umstead about Revolt ’s digital platform plans.

NTV:Why is digital such a big part of Revolt’s overall business plan?

Keith Clinkscales: It is what the audience demands. Young people who are watching TV through digital are finding out about things they want to watch, so we want to make sure that we’re playing in that space. We have to play the way they want it — not the way we want it. We want to make sure we’re paying attention to them to make sure we’re receptive to how they are consuming content.

NTV:Does Revolt’s recent deal with Xbox One get the company closer to reaching consumers in the digital space?

KC: Yes, it allows us to provide content to authenticated subscribers. As different opportunities expand, we’ll be able to go with other types of content and packages for those who are not authenticated. We’re made for this type of platform and our audience demands it, so that’s what we’re going to go after.

NTV:Would you consider launching a standalone over-the-top service?

KC: Yes, but the first thing is to work with our existing partners. We’re blessed to have distribution deals with [Verizon] FiOS, Time Warner Cable and Comcast, and we want to do things with and through our partners. They helped us get there, and we want to make sure that we’re building through all of their businesses. Comcast and Time Warner do an extraordinary job with their Internet businesses, and we want to be part of that but we want to make sure that we’re good partners.

NTV:Revolt started out as a linear channel nearly two years ago. Does the company need to make a more concerted digital play to survive in a very crowded marketplace, particularly as you go after millennials who access a lot of video content on digital platforms?

KC: Yes, and for us as a growing network it’s kind of exciting because while you have pressure to grow your linear distribution, there are other ways to get your signal out.

NTV:Are there any new distribution deals — linear or digital — that you can discuss at this point?

KC: No not yet, but we’re talking to everyone.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.