Accomplice and veteran music agent Marc Geiger has known as WME dwelling since 2003, so when a Hits report printed Tuesday steered he was within the working for a high-ranking place at Spotify — “Insiders speculate that the potential hiring … is a part of the Swedish streaming large’s growth into the reside house,” learn the report — the music trade was shook.
However Geiger denies rumors of secret talks and says his ties to Spotify are very a lot within the open: “My ‘Finest Information’ playlist is public on Spotify,” he tells Variety. “I promise to replace it now and produce it to 2020!”
At WME, Geiger oversees a roster that features Justin Timberlake, Drake, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Infantile Gambino, Luke Bryan and Eric Church, though the coronavirus pandemic has shut down the touring trade nearly fully, and indefinitely.
On Monday, Variety confirmed that Endeavor has organized a $260 million time period mortgage to assist get the corporate by the coronavirus-driven income disaster on the identical time that it launches a broad cost-cutting initiative. Endeavor has been recognized to be on the lookout for monetary options since final fall when the corporate — the guardian of UFC, WME, IMG and different entities — was compelled to desk its deliberate IPO.
The COVID-19 lockdowns introduced the curtain down on sports activities, concert events, festivals and different reside occasion companies which are central to Endeavor’s companies. The shutdown of music touring and movie and TV manufacturing guarantees to be a hardship for WME and IMG.
Information of the mortgage settlement comes on the identical day that Endeavor is predicted to start layoffs firm vast that may quantity to 20% of its roughly 7,500 staffers. On the WME expertise company alone, that’s anticipated to have an effect on not less than 300 of its 1,500 staff. Affect to the music division has up to now been muted as, in accordance to sources, a handful of prime brokers have joined collectively in a unified entrance.
The jolt of the pandemic has added to the stress on Endeavor and its CEO Ari Emanuel. The corporate has been on an acquisition spree through the previous decade, bankrolled by debt and capital from traders together with non-public fairness large Silver Lake. The Journal pegged the entire funding by Silver Lake in Endeavor at $2 billion since 2012.