This SFX Entertainment ride through the EDM scene has been an interesting one to chart. For the better part of the last few years, Robert Sillerman has built this conglomerate into a behemoth that’s looking to take over EDM, or rather push their “electronic music culture” brand throughout the EDM scene, gobbling up everything from the biggest dance music promoters both in the U.S. and abroad while at the same time acquiring entities that will help this business, including ticketing companies and outlets like Beatport. The two latest announcements from SFX don’t have us scratching our heads, but they are definitely the most intriguing announcements to come from their growing empire.
First up is the news that SFX has a new president, Paul Greenberg. What’s that? You never heard of a Paul Greenberg being affiliated with the EDM scene? You’d be right, as he’s practically an “outsider.” Paul’s previous stints include running College Humor, working for Time, Inc. and MTV Networks, as well as at MediaNet. Now while that might mean that he has knowledge of running a large company (or a facet of a large company), does this mean he is the right decision for SFX? Time will tell. Sillerman’s surely not the ideal fit for a company that’s looking to recreate the EDM scene in some still-fuzzy image.
The second bit of news that we saw is actually a bit more shocking, as part of the latest batch of acquisitions brings SFX deeper into the realm of artist management and representation. SFX has acquired TMWRK, which handles acts like Diplo, A-Trak, Dillon Francis, and Flosstradamus, and helped secure Blackberry and adidas partnerships with Diplo & A-Trak, respectively. Think about the ramifications of this; while you would have to assume that SFX-owned festivals and events would likely have Diplo and A-Trak on them, this move could make it easier for TMWRK artists to get booked at SFX shows, as they’re in-house and a quick phone call/email away. Also acquired were The Meta Agency, a company that manages artists who work with interactive visual design, and Learned Evolution, a digital branding and marketing agency. With previous acquisitions like Fame House and Tunezy, we’re getting the feeling that SFX could become a true one-stop shop for an EDM artist on the rise.
Think about it: SFX now owns TMWRK, which would manage (and find opportunities for) the new client. They could get booked at a number of EDM festivals that SFX happens to own, with sick sets for their live shows and fresh digital branding opportunities being done to hype up the artist. SFX also partnered with Clear Channel, which has Beatport-branding radio shows on the horizon, so if said artist is looking to “pop,” this is the perfect vehicle to push them. That’s a lot of power for one entity to have, being run by people who don’t necessarily have an idea about what’s going on in the EDM world.
Not saying this is a monopoly, but there’s definitely a lot of power being gathered over at SFX.