Jay Z will end eight days of performing at the newly opened Barclay Center in Brooklyn with the launch of his own digital network on YouTube. The Life+Times channel will feature original content reflecting the rapping mogul’s wide range of interests. Life+Times will launch Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET with a live stream of his final sold-out concert.
“The site really is a way for Jay to showcase the breadth of his interests, from fashion, architecture, music, style, food, consumables, electronics, and so forth,” said Michael Hirschorn, founder of Ish Entertainment. “We’re approaching this channel and programming it, not at the level of an MTV or a BET – at least, not yet – but really programming it as a real channel that will have regular content, some featuring him, some under his creative direction, but that when he wants to reach his audience, he’s no longer going to have to go through an intermediary to get to that audience.”
Jay-Z joins a growing list of entertainers entering into digital content creation. Tom Hanks recently 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.
The channel is an offshoot of Jay-Z’s personal blog by the same name. Shows already scheduled to stream include the Brooklyn Nets (of which Jigga is part owner) docu-series The Road to Brooklyn, the fan-interaction show Roc Nation Check-In and Well Dunn With Jourdan Dunn, which focuses on the exploits of the British supermodel.
Hirschorn says the channel will operate like a television network including monetizing through advertising.
YouTube’s Global head of music Chris Maxcy says the new channel is a coup for the digital network. “We’re thrilled to include (Jay-Z) in a slate of original programming that gives people worldwide more of the content they’re passionate about from the artists and brands they love.”