Backstage, the publication specializing in casting, auditions and entertainment-industry opportunities, today announced that it has acquired Sonicbids, the platform for bands to book opportunities and market themselves online. The deal, financed by Guggenheim Partners, combines the two entities for actors, musicians, casting directors and promoters to showcase and discover talent.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Backstage and Sonicbids come from a similar model of matching artists with opportunities. For more than 50 years, Backstage has been a trusted name in casting, auditions and entertainment-industry opportunities, helping actors, singers and dancers find gigs, while connecting casting directors, producers, directors and choreographers with talent.
Sonicbids launched in 2001 as a site for connecting emerging bands and music promoters and has grown into a global marketing platform connecting more than 400,000 bands with 30,000 promoters from over 100 countries. Additionally, the company’s recently launched Social Music Marketing™ product suite enables brand marketers to reach and engage music fans and consumers using music-oriented content. Sonicbids has many exclusive partnerships with leading industry events including South By Southwest (SXSW), Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and CMJ Music Marathon.
Combined, the two companies claim 600,000 registered users and 60,000 paying subscribers in a rapidly growing performing arts market. According to a study by RAND, it is estimated that there are 7 million performing artists in the U.S. and approximately 100 million worldwide.
“Sonicbids and Backstage share the same mission of opening doors for the creative community,” said Panos Panay, founder and CEO, Sonicbids. “Joining forces creates amazing synergies and brings the worlds of music, film and social marketing even closer together.”
“Our vision is to the fill the void where existing career sites drop off in serving performing artists,” said John Amato, Chairman and CEO, Backstage. “This market has great growth potential but has been under-served. We want to step in to become the destination site for performing artists to book opportunities, manage their careers, and educate themselves.”
“Guggenheim is committed to live events, media and music,” said Todd Boehly, President, Guggenheim Partners. “We have seen great success with our brands, including Backstage, and this acquisition is a logical progression.”
The combined entities will include 70+ employees with offices in New York City, Boston and LA. Backstage is a portfolio company of Guggenheim Partners; the combined company will be headed by Chairman and CEO John Amato.
Guggenheim is a co-owner of Prometheus Global Media, owner of Billboard.