The Future. Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) and Artist Group International (AGI) are joining forces to form Independent Artist Group (IAG), with the goal of claiming the fourth spot of the Big Four Hollywood talent agencies after CAA swallowed ICM. It’s a massive ambition, but the diversified and growing talent pool of IAG may create more competition at the top of the representation ecosystem.
The new Big Four
The newly-created IAG could have the scale to one day compete with WME, CAA, and UTA.
- The merger brings together a recently-inflated APA (it recently hired 21 agents and signed 300 new clients) and several top touring acts from AGI, including Metallica, Rod Stewart, and Linkin Park.
- The plan, per APA president Jim Osborne, is to help musicians crossover to new formats, as it has with clients like Mary J. Blige and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
- Additionally, Osborne says that APA is “really good at brand extension,” which is key to getting clients on every type of screen possible (a strategy similar to Range Media Partners).
- Also, with music touring hitting record revenues, IAG can expect pretty consistent cash flow starting out.
With the merger, Osborne will be elevated to IAG CEO, while AGI CEO Dennis Arfa will be IAG’s music chairman. Meanwhile, APA CEO Jim Gosnell will move into a chairman role and focus on “vertical growth opportunities.”
We’ll see which new big clients they’ll be able to woo over now.