David Zedeck, Partner and Co-Head of Worldwide Music, UTA

David Zedeck
– David Zedeck

In His Own Words: The Agency Role, Inclusion Solution & Green Scene

David Zedeck
Partner and Co-Head of Worldwide Music, UTA  

David Zedeck has led UTA’s rapid expansion into the music space since joining in 2017, with acquisitions, new hires and major signings. Much of that was thanks to Zedeck’s extensive experience in the live music business, including as an agent previously with CAA known for repping and signing superstar clients like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and One Direction.

His experience extends to the promoter side as well, with five years at Live Nation as executive vice president and president of global talent and artist development. In 2017, he took the opportunity to lead UTA’s growing music division, making notable acquisitions including electronic-focused Circle Talent Agency and UK-based Echo Location. Today, UTA represents a varied roster of touring powerhouses such as Guns N’ Roses, Post Malone, Jonas Brothers and Illenium.

The agency business underwent many shakeups in 2020, but UTA has shown its commitment to music, bringing over Samantha Kirby Yoh from WME and placing an emphasis on its recently formed Global Music Brand Partnerships division spearheaded by Toni Wallace and Alisann Blood.

The Agency Role: “I think going forward, many artists will continue to look for cross-industry career opportunities as opposed to focusing on one specific space at any given time, Looking ahead, I’m working on helping agents and artists navigate the return to live touring in a post-pandemic world.

Ramping Up Post-COVID: “I expect there will be pent up demand among artists who want to perform and audiences who want to attend live events, but we won’t be able to get back to all our pre-pandemic touring practices right away. The normal variables of markets/venues, capacity and ticket scaling will be under scrutiny more than in previous years. I suspect a slower ramp up to international markets following the path as venues and markets open, following local safety protocols.”

The Inclusion Solution: “We need to widen the pipeline to ensure that the community of industry professionals more accurately reflects the diversity of the artists we represent, and of the audience that supports their music. We all need to look for opportunities to help underrepresented voices break into and succeed within the music landscape.”

Green Scene: “The UTA Foundation launched UTA Green to provide the resources and tools needed to reduce our environmental impact as an industry, educate and train our teams, create spaces for conversations and community development, and enhance our ability to volunteer for climate change action. We not only feel this is a vital step to the future of our planet, but also a responsibility for our business and industry.” 

Hot Takes

When it’s safe to do so, will you go back to the office, work remotely or a combination of both?

 I’m very comfortable working from the road or remotely. However, I’m looking forward to returning to the office to collaborate with my colleagues in music and across the agency.

How do you think livestreaming will or won’t be integrated into your business going forward?  

 I see livestreaming fitting into a few categories. There will be standalone, one-night only livestreamed events; specific market shows that will be geo-fenced for touring markets where the artist won’t be performing live; and “virtual balcony” livestreams, which will be sold to fans after live shows sell out.

Your favorite music documentary – recent or old?

I loved the Bee Gees documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, which came out in October.

Artist to watch break in the next year?

Madeline The Person and The Kid LAROI.

Zoom, TikTok, Clubhouse? 

Zoom. For me, face-to-face interaction is important. I like the ease and efficiency.