Backstage Acquires Sonicbids

Combined Companies Poised to Become the Leading Platform for Connecting Artists with Opportunities

NEW YORK AND BOSTON, January 30, 2013 — Backstage, LLC, the world’s most trusted name in casting, auditions and entertainment-industry opportunities, today announced that it has acquired Sonicbids, the leading platform for bands to connect with promoters and market themselves online. The deal, financed by Guggenheim Partners, combines the two leading 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 the same heritage of matching artists with opportunities. For more than 50 years, Backstage has been the world’s most trusted name in casting, auditions and entertainment-industry opportunities. It helps actors, singers and dancers find opportunities, while connecting casting directors, producers, directors and choreographers with amazing talent.

Sonicbids launched in 2001 as a matchmaking site for 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 rich, 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, with Panos Panay maintaining his role as leader of Sonicbids.

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* RAND. (2001). Performing Arts in a New Era. Kevin F. McCarthy, Arthur Brooks, Julia Lowell, Laura Zakaras

About Backstage
Founded in 1960, Backstage is the world’s most trusted name in casting, auditions and entertainment-industry opportunities. Backstage helps actors, models, dancers, singers, comedians, variety performers, voice-over artists, and crew members find gigs — while helping casting directors, producers, directors, choreographers, photographers, writers, agents, and other entertainment-industry employers find amazing talent for all of their projects. Learn more at www.backstage.com.

About Sonicbids
Sonicbids is the leading platform for bands to book gigs and market themselves online. It connects more than 400,000 bands with 30,000 promoters from over 100 different countries. Additionally, the company’s recently launched Social Music Marketing™ product suite enables brand marketers to reach and engage music fans and consumers using rich music-oriented content. Sonicbids has been the launching pad for many of today’s hottest artists and has many exclusive partnerships with premier events like South By Southwest (SXSW), Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, CMJ Music Marathon, Spain’s Primavera Pro and Canada’s North By Northeast (NXNE). Consumer brand customers include Renaissance Hotels, Anheuser Busch and Diesel Industry. Learn more at www.sonicbids.com.

About Guggenheim Partners
Guggenheim Partners, LLC is a privately held global financial services firm with more than $160 billion in assets under management.* The firm provides asset management, investment banking and capital markets services, insurance, institutional finance and investment advisory solutions to institutions, governments and agencies, corporations, investment advisors, family offices and individuals. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in New York and Chicago and serves clients around the world from more than 25 offices in eight countries. For more information about Guggenheim Partners, visit www.guggenheimpartners.com.

* Assets under management are as of September 30, 2012 and include consulting services for clients whose assets are valued at approximately $35 billion.

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Darlene Doyle
+1.617.502.1335
ddoyle@sonicbids.com

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