Last updated
Founded1994;25 years ago (1994)
Key people
Marc Geiger (founder), James Graf (CEO), Augustine Wong (President)

ARTISTdirect is an online digital media entertainment company. Founded in 1994, it owns several websites, including and These websites are a group of affiliate websites offering multimedia content, music news and information, communities organized around shared music interests, music-related specialty commerce and digital music services.


Artistdirect began as an online music retailer and distribution company. It hosted the Ultimate Band List (UBL), a database with information on over 600,000 artists, concerts, record labels, and other music-related resources. [1] In 1997, it partnered with the band Blink-182 to create, an online store and community site for fans of the music and fashion of cutting-edge alt-rock, punk, metal, and hard rock artists. [1] It featured merchandise from various brands including Hurley, Dickies, and Ben Sherman. In the early 2000s Artistdirect combined the database of the Ultimate Band List and online store with free audio and video streams, music news, album reviews, and movie trailers.[ citation needed ]

Blink-182 American rock band

Blink-182 is an American rock band formed in Poway, California in 1992. Since 2015, the lineup of the band has consisted of bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus, drummer Travis Barker, and guitarist and vocalist Matt Skiba. Founded by guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge, Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor, the band emerged from the Southern California punk scene of the early 1990s and first gained notoriety for high-energy live shows and irreverent lyrical toilet humor.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

In 2006, Artistdirect re-launched the site to focus on independent and unsigned bands, and helping them to be "discovered". [2] [ not in citation given ] According to Media Metrix, the Artistdirect Network averages 12.4 million unique hits. [3] [ not in citation given ]

In 2005 Artistdirect acquired MediaDefender, a company with a 90% share of the market for protecting against online copyright infringement. [4]

MediaDefender, Inc. now was a company that fought copyright infringement that offered services designed to prevent alleged copyright infringement using peer-to-peer distribution. They used unusual tactics such as flooding peer-to-peer networks with decoy files that tie up users' computers and bandwidth. MediaDefender was based in Los Angeles, California in the United States. As of March 2007, the company had approximately 60 employees and used 2,000 servers hosted in California with contracts for 9 Gbit/s of bandwidth.

In 2009, Artistdirect acquired MediaSentry, another company that focuses on battling online copyright infringement. [5] The company will operate with two divisions, one for its copyright protection products, and another for its music-related web sites.[ citation needed ]

MediaSentry was a United States company that provided services to the music recording, motion picture, television, and software industries for locating and identifying IP addresses that are engaged in the use of online networks to share material in a manner said organizations claim is in violation of copyright. Their most notable customers were several trade associations including the Motion Picture Association of America and International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

In August 2009, the company filed a "Form 15" with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, under which it will "go dark" and cease to make public its financial information. The company shares will also cease trading on the major stock exchanges. [6]

In March 2015, the business of ARTISTdirect was acquired by PSI Capital, Inc.[ citation needed ]

ARTISTdirect Records

In February 2001, Interscope Records co-founder Ted Field launched ARTISTdirect Records (aka ADR) in conjunction with co-founder Marc Geiger. [7] Financially backed and distributed by Bertelsmann Music Group the label sought to wed a traditional record label with Artistdirect's online delivery platform. The label failed and folded in 2003 leaving behind several releases from artists such as The Blood Brothers, No Good, and Mad at Gravity, and a tab of $100,000,000.[ citation needed ]


In August 2002, Marc Geiger launched his own iMUSIC label as a separate entity to ARTISTdirect Records but still under the Artistdirect umbrella. [8] It also relied on BMG distribution and on Ted Field's ADR marketing and promotion staff.[ citation needed ]

The basic idea of iMUSIC was to enter into label and distribution partnerships with long established artists (with sizable fan-bases) who no longer had major label deals.[ citation needed ]

See also

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Sony Music American record label

Sony Music Entertainment (SME), known as Sony Music, is an American global music conglomerate owned by Sony and incorporated as a general partnership of Sony Music Holdings Inc. through Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, which in turn is a subsidiary of the Japanese Sony Corporation. It was originally founded in 1929 as American Record Corporation and renamed as Columbia Recording Corporation in 1938, following its acquisition by the Columbia Broadcasting System. In 1966, the company was reorganized to become CBS Records, and Sony Corporation bought the company in 1988, renaming it under its current name in 1991. In 2004, Sony and Bertelsmann established a 50-50 joint venture known as Sony BMG Music Entertainment, which transferred the businesses of Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group into one entity. However, in 2008, Sony acquired Bertelsmann's stake, and the company reverted to the SME name shortly after; the buyout allowed Sony to acquire all of BMG's labels, and led to the dissolution of BMG, which instead relaunched as BMG Rights Management.

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Marc Geiger is an American music executive, talent agent, and entrepreneur. The co-founder of Lollapalooza and ARTISTdirect, he is the head of William Morris Endeavor's music division.


  1. 1 2 About Us - Free Music Download, MP3 Music, Music Chat, Music Video, Music CD, ARTISTdirect Network
  3. Yahoo Finance [ permanent dead link ]
  4. Photo Release - Jonathan Dolgen Joins ARTISTdirect, Inc. as Senior Consultant
  5. "ARTISTdirect Announces Acquisition of MediaSentry". Reuters (Press release). Global Newswire. April 2, 2009. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  6. Reuters
  7. Lieberman, Allyson (January 2, 2010). "TED FIELD LANDS AT MUSIC WEB SITE WHILE INDIE V2 LOSES PRESIDENT". New York Post .
  8. "iMUSIC: A New Direction for the Music Business; Cutting-Edge Label Offers Better Economics". January 2, 2010.