One year after its BETA stage, the most influential entity in emcee battle culture’s App has changed the way that fans consume media, developed new stars, provided licensing opportunities for smaller leagues to have their content shared, and created a video network for the culture through this high-volume platform.
“When we said that we were going to start our own App to distribute our own content, many believed our sights to be too lofty,” says URL owner Troy “Smack White” Mitchell. “But that is why we are the only ones owning this space — pushing the culture forward in ways that no other player in the space has done.”
The App Gang, the nickname for subscribers who are privileged with exclusive content from the Hip-Hop sporting agency, agrees. This is proven by the high traffic that each segment of the App receives via categories that include artist profiles, battles, interviews, marquis card collections, interviews, trailers, and URL Originals (consisting of scripted and reality series created with the hundreds of thousands of viewers in mind).
“Many people believe that our partnership with Caffeine is our first venture into streaming, it was not,” Mitchell contends. “We want to show the culture how to successfully navigate multiple tiers of streaming, content sharing, and marketing of our events and have been doing so even before the global pandemic stopped in-person activations.”
“This is nothing new. We transitioned from the DVD era (early) to participate via YouTube. As a business model, we understood that our fans that could not get into our events because we either sold out or because of distance desired to have more access to our experiences and so we created a Pay-Per-View option, with a Video on Demand component for a nominal price. Still, our fans, including Drake, wanted more access for less money, so we created our App which became the first wave of accommodating their wishes.”
Mitchell explains adding that the partnership with Caffeine, where fans get to see the first live streams of their top cards for URL for free, has elevated this vision tremendously.
Through the service events like Summer Madness, NOME, and the Ultimate Madness tournaments are curated and produced by the league. At the same time, the URL staff works tirelessly to maintain its signature authenticity, producing App only events like Born Legacy, Banned, The Crucible, and more.