Leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) today announced its acquisition of Digital Brand Architects (DBA), the leading independent company representing many of the world’s most impactful and engaging digital influencers. The acquisition further strengthens and expands UTA’s market-leading efforts in the Digital Media sector and in the fast-growing Digital Talent marketplace.
Founded in 2010 and with more than 50 employees, DBA represents over 140 of the most prominent influencers, and works with hundreds of leading fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. DBA clients collectively reach over 200 million followers, spanning the travel, family, fashion, food, home and beauty sectors, with a client roster that includes Gabi Gregg (Gabi Fresh), Aimee Song (Song of Style), Camila Coelho, Rach Parcell (Pink Peonies), Amber Lewis (Amber Interiors), Gina Homolka (Skinnytaste), Gaby Dalkin (What’s Gaby Cooking), Naomi Davis (Love Taza), Genevieve Padalecki (Now & Gen), Julia Engel (Gal Meets Glam), Emily Schuman (Cupcakes and Cashmere) and more.
DBA will continue to operate as a separate, independent company. It will maintain its distinct brand identity and existing business operations, including its offices in New York and Los Angeles, under the leadership of DBA founder and CEO Raina Penchansky, and the company’s management team including Partner and EVP of Brand Partnerships Reesa Lake, and Partner and EVP of Talent Management, Vanessa Flaherty.
UTA has also acquired DBA’s interest in Digital Brand Products (DBP), which builds and brokers new fashion, beauty and other licensed products around DBA’s clients, and Dear Media, DBA’s premium audio studio and distribution entity. DBP has helped their clients bring their brands to life through product with dozens of brands at retail, including Something Navy at Nordstrom and Gal Meets Glam. Dear Media has launched 20 new influencer-driven podcasts since its launch in mid-2018, with an additional 15 in development.
"Raina and her team have built an extraordinary company, with an inspiring, client-first culture, that has allowed them to be true leaders in the influencer marketplace. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with the entire DBA, DBP and Dear Media teams to help ensure that our organizations and clients continue to be leaders and innovators in this fast-growing space."
Partner & Chief Innovation Officer
In 2006, UTA became the first major talent agency to launch a division exclusively dedicated to representing emerging digital artists. Today that division represents over 100 of the world’s most prominent online video stars - with a collective reach of hundreds of millions of followers across all their social channels and billions of video views per month - including Emma Chamberlain, Shane Dawson, Karina Garcia, Shay Mitchell, Rhett & Link and Wengie. UTA was also the first agency to launch a social media advisory practice, which in 2018 was merged into the agency’s UTA IQ research and strategy group. UTA’s highly-successful Ventures practice helped incubate early-stage media companies like AwesomenessTV and Raze, and were early investors in companies including PlutoTV, Pocket.watch and Cloud9. UTA’s Podcast division has brokered ground-breaking deals for artists including Will Ferrell and Anna Faris and represents chart-topping podcasts including “My Favorite Murder,” “Crimetown,” “How I Built This” and “Business Wars.”
Today’s news adds further momentum to UTA’s ongoing expansion, which has included significant acquisitions in broadcast news, music, live speaking, and video games. Just last year, the agency acquired leading electronic music agency, Circle Talent Agency, and industry-leading esports companies Press X and Everyday Influencers. Last August, global private equity groups Investcorp and PSP Investments purchased a substantial minority stake in UTA, and in October UTA and Valence media launched Civic Center Media, a joint venture to produce and finance premium television content.
"Simply put, DBA and UTA are a great fit. Both companies were out front in recognizing the potential of the digital talent marketplace and we have like-minded missions, values and culture. By joining one of the premier companies in the global talent industry, DBA has an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate growth, offer a new wealth of creative opportunities to clients, and dedicate even more resources to expanding our leadership in innovation."
CEO of DBA
Leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) represents many of the most acclaimed figures across film, television, news, music, sports, theater, fine art, literature, video games, podcasts and other social and digital content. A passionate advocate for artists, creators and innovators, the company also is recognized in the areas of film finance and packaging, branding, licensing and endorsements. UTA is known for its dedicated digital media group helping clients—from A-list talent to Fortune 500 companies—capitalize on a rapidly changing entertainment, media and business landscape. The agency's worldwide presence includes its Los Angeles headquarters and offices in New York, London, Nashville, Miami and Malmö, Sweden. Information about UTA can also be found by following the company on social media on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Digital Brand Architects (DBA) is the industry leader in the influencer management and marketing landscape representing a world class portfolio of diverse social media-oriented personalities, creators, and publishers. Lead by founder and CEO Raina Penchansky, DBA continues to move digital culture forward by focusing on top-level content, storytelling, native advertising, and brand development. The company's roster includes 140 of the most prominent social media influencers. In 2015, DBA launched Digital Brand Products (DBP) to empower its clients and other digital-native properties in developing, manufacturing, and selling their own merchandise. Additionally, DBA launched Dear Media (DM), a podcast studio with a focus on bringing women, their stories and their narratives to the forefront of conversation. In 2017 DBA was named one of Ad Age’s Best Places to Work, with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. Information about DBA can also be found by following the company on social media on Instagram and LinkedIn.