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Samantha Kirby Yoh joins UTA Music as co-head

United Talent Agency (UTA) has appointed Samantha Kirby Yoh as co-head, joining David Zedeck in overseeing the company’s worldwide music operations.

Kirby Yoh joins UTA from WME where she served as head of East Coast music, overseeing the New York music department and expanding its businesses into new areas of media and creative brand partnerships.

Kirby also managed a roster of artists at WME including Bjork, Rosalia, LCD Soundsystem, Florence & the Machine, FKA twigs, Grimes, Alicia Keys, James Blake, MIA, Moses Sumney, Channel Tres, Banks, St Vincent, Massive Attack and The Chemical Brothers. Prior to joining WME Kirby Yoh was an agent at Evolution Talent.

“Sam and David see eye-to-eye on how to build a great music business and will be strong partners in leading UTA Music,” says UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer.

“We have long admired Sam’s success working with unique and powerful artists, and we’re thrilled she has chosen to join us. Under their leadership, UTA Music will continue to bring innovative ideas, unparalleled service and collaboration into the lives of artists.”

“There are few agents in music more inventive, collaborative or dynamic than Sam”

Kirby Yoh says: “I am excited to join UTA as they continue to build out their music department to meet, protect and amplify the creativity of the artists they represent. UTA is at the vanguard of investing and sourcing incredibly innovative opportunities for their artists.

“Additionally, I’ve watched with great respect as UTA moves clearly with their intentions to better our music community, becoming leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion. I look forward to partnering with David Zedeck, a friend for more than 20 years and one of the most talented agents and leaders in music. I’m thrilled to get to work.”

Zedeck added: “There are few agents in music more inventive, collaborative or dynamic than Sam and I’m excited she’s agreed to join UTA. We’ve been colleagues and friends for over two decades and there’s no one I’d rather share the responsibility of running our music business with.

“She’s someone I admire and respect tremendously. She’ll bring a unique perspective and outstanding taste to the role, and I look forward to a partnership focused on continuing to build UTA Music into the industry leader.”

Beyond her role as an agent, Kirby Yoh is a founding member of both She Is The Music, which focuses on increasing the number of women working in the global music industry, and Noise for Now, which connects performers to organisations fighting for reproductive rights.

She also sits on the advisory board of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which works to increase diversity in the entertainment industry.

Natalia Nastaskin will continue in her role as general manager of the Global Music Group, working closely with both Kirby Yoh and Zedeck.

 


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The decade in live: 2012

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

As in the previous 12 months, 2012 saw the live music industry still grappling with the effects of the global economic crisis, with many countries just beginning to clamber out of recession and others heading for dreaded ‘double dips’.

This continuing economic uncertainty naturally bit into the leisure spend of discriminating ticket buyers with a variety of entertainment options – though the world did not, as predicted by some long-dead Mexicans, come to an end.

Elsewhere, the weather gods interfered with yet more festivals, while Hurricane Sandy had a devastating effect on the industry in the New York area. In the UK, meanwhile, the Olympics scored on many levels, but provided far too much competition for many.

 


2012 in numbers

The top 50 worldwide tours grossed a combined US$3 billion in 2012, according to Pollstar, down around 2% from $3.07bn in 2011.

Madonna’s MDNA tour was the clear No1, grossing $296.1 million, ahead of second-placed Bruce Springsteen, whose E Street Band earned $210.2m. Both acts played to more than 2m fans worldwide 2012.

Roger Waters’ The Wall generated $186.4m to come in at No3, and was also the highest-ranking hold-over from the 2011 chart, where he placed No5 with a gross of $103.6 million.

Reflecting the lingering impact of the financial crisis, the total tickets sold by the top 50 tours was 34.9m, which continued the decline from 35.5m the previous year (and well off the pace from 2009, when the top 50 sold 45.3 million, says Pollstar).

 


2012 in brief

January
FKP Scorpio buys a stake in Utrecht-based booking agency and artist management company Friendly Fire.

Touring festival Big Day Out calls time on its New Zealand leg after promoter Ken West admits that falling audience numbers have made the Auckland show unviable.

February

Madonna sparks controversy when she tells Newsweek  magazine fans should “work all year, scrape the money together” for a $300 ticket to her MDNA tour.

March
Private-equity firm CVC Asia Pacific puts its Australian ticketing company, Ticketek, and Sydney’s Allphones Arena up for a sale in a bid to reduce a A$2.7bn (€2.1bn) debt run-up by Nine Entertainment, which owns the assets.

Stuart Galbraith buys out AEG’s 50% stake in Kilimanjaro Live for an undisclosed sum. Both parties say they will continue to work together on events in future. (Kili later cancels the 2012 edition of Sonisphere at Knebworth, which was to have featured Kiss, Faith No More and Marilyn Manson.)

Ebay-owned secondary ticketing service, StubHub, launches operations in the UK and admits it is looking at further expansion across Europe.

Roger Waters's The Wall tour was the third most lucrative of 2012

Roger Waters’s The Wall tour was the third most lucrative of 2012 (© Brennan Schnell/Eastscene.com/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0))

April
Serbian authorities arrest the venue owner and other individuals following a fire at the Contrast nightclub in Novi Sad that leaves six people dead.

Tupac Shakur, who died 15 years previous, is the main talking point at Coachella, as a multimillion-dollar hologram of the rapper appears on stage alongside Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg.

May
Viagogo raises eyebrows by shifting its operational base from the UK to Switzerland, amid speculation it wants to resell tickets for the Olympic Games without falling foul of British law.

Investment firm Silver Lake Partners completes a transaction to acquire a 31% stake in William Morris Endeavor.

June
Former AEG Germany CEO Detlef Kornett forms a venue consultancy, Verescon, with DEAG with Peter Schwenkow.

Swedish telecom operator Tele2 pays an undisclosed sum to secure naming rights for Stockholm’s new 40,000-capacity stadium, operated by AEG.

Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield and Dizzee Rascal performed at the London 2012 opening ceremony
Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield and Dizzee Rascal performed at the London 2012 opening ceremony (© Matt Deegan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

July
Live Nation appoints former CAA exec David Zedeck to the role of executive VP and president of global talent and artist development.

Artists including Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal and Emeli Sandé are each paid £1 for their performances at the Olympics opening ceremony. The show attracts 26.9m viewers in the UK alone, and billions more worldwide.

August
Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot are jailed for two years each, after staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.

September
AEG drops its claim against Lloyd’s of London on a multimillion-dollar insurance policy, following the death of Michael Jackson.

C3 Presents’ Lollapalooza debuted in Brazil in AprilC3 Presents’ Lollapalooza debuted in Brazil in April (© Henrique Oli/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0))

October
Glastonbury Festival takes just 100 minutes to sell out all 135,000 tickets for next summer’s event, despite not naming a single act on the 2013 bill.

C3 Presents extends an arrangement with Globo Organization’s GEO for more events in Brazil, following a successful Lollapalooza.

November
AEG is awarded the contract to take over shows at London’s prestigious Hyde Park, ending Live Nation’s decade-long relationship with the 80,000-capacity space.

Frank Barsalona, founder of Premier Talent, dies aged 74. Premier was the first agency to work exclusively with rock artists, with clients including the Yardbirds, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2 and Van Halen.

December
The Wall Street Journal reports that a number of bidders are in contention to acquire AEG, despite a reported $10bn asking price.

Irving Azoff unexpectedly resigns as chairman of Live Nation and CEO of its Front Line Management Group, to concentrate on his own artist management company.

 


Whitney Houston

Who we lost

Notable industry deaths in 2012 included South by Southwest creative director Brent Grulke, Lasse Ollsen of Swedish promoter Viva Art Music, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Armin Rahn, founder of Munich-based Armin Rahn Agency and Management, Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson, Perth Arena general manager David Humphreys, R&B legend Etta James, pop powerhouse Whitney Houston, the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb, disco diva Donna Summer, the Monkees’ Davy Jones and legendary agents Armin Rahm and Frank Barsalona.

 


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David Zedeck becomes UTA head of music

Industry veteran David Zedeck has joined United Talent Agency (UTA) to oversee its global music business.

Zedeck (pictured) – most recently Live Nation’s executive vice-president/president of global talent and artist development – will be based in UTA’s Los Angeles headquarters, and also becomes a partner in the agency and a special advisor to its board of directors.

He joined Live Nation in 2012 from CAA, where his roster included One Direction, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Jonas Brothers.

“We are excited to have a professional of David’s standing lead our team of great agents and executives,” says UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “His vision of full-service representation meshes exactly with where we have been taking the department. His track record of developing artists, his passion for music and his understanding of how to use all the resources of an agency make David the perfect leader for our future.”

“His vision of full-service representation meshes exactly with where we have been taking the department”

Zedeck adds: “Joining UTA during a period when its music business is accelerating is an amazing opportunity. UTA has a commitment to developing artists and helping them create platforms to share their music with fans around the world.  Throughout my career I have been dedicated to working with artists to grow their global audience, so I’m very excited to return to the agency business to lead UTA’s music group.”

Other recent hires for UTA, which bought UK-based The Agency Group (TAG) in August 2015, include Greg Janese from Paradigm, David Klein from CAA and Bex Majors, Billy Wood and Mike Guirguis from CAA, WME and NiteVision, respectively.

 


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