Head of Music
William Morris Endeavor
POWER MOVE: Seven of the top 25 tours of 2012, a number that may grow with the addition of more than 50 new clients — including Frank Ocean — to a roster that tops 1,000 acts.
THE RUNDOWN: A visionary who co-created the Lollapalooza tour and became an early advocate of linking artists and consumers through the Internet, Marc Geiger watches knowingly as the music industry continues its recent revolution (though he admits it’s not moving nearly fast enough to suit him).
As chief of William Morris Endeavor’s music division, Geiger understands the major changes that took place: Labels that once ruled the business struggle for power, while formerly bottom-dwelling concert promoters are now suddenly king of the hill.
All the while, WME’s music division has been developing promising new talent while sustaining and building careers. WME led all agencies by representing seven of the top 25 tours in 2012 (including two acts in the top 10), which boasted a combined gross of nearly $500 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.
WME signed more than 50 new clients in 2012, including Steve Aoki, Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Lauryn Hill, Carly Rae Jepsen, Norah Jones, Frank Ocean, Gotye and Tegan & Sara. Its client roster now tops 1,000 acts, booked by 98 music agents in Beverly Hills, Calif.; Nashville; New York; Miami; and London. An early believer in the growth of U.S. festivals, Geiger also saw the potential for global artists, such as Lady Gaga, to dominate the business.
As the industry’s power base undergoes “a huge facelift” moving from recorded music to live performances, Geiger relishes the revolution. “The house was torn down and rebuilt completely, and it is still being rebuilt,” he says. “A lot of the industry’s larger-than-life personalities are not looked at the same way, or given the same sense of indulgence, because it’s more of a business now, though one that has been severely challenged. And guess who has the most power out of everybody today? The consumer.”
Marc Geiger photo by Brad Swonetz