×

Foursquare signs with UTA

Social-media firm eyes entertainment biz

Foursquare is checking in at UTA.

The mobile-centric social-media service has signed with the talent agency to assist in striking partnerships and other business development opportunities within the entertainment industry.

“We’re excited to work with UTA to introduce the entertainment, music and media industry to the benefits of using foursquare to connect with our community of over 20 million people worldwide,” said Jonathan Crowley, director of media partnerships for Foursquare.

Since launching in 2009, Foursquare established itself in a busy sector with its location-based orientation, enabling “check ins” that connect users with others in the same geographic location and earn virtual badges for visiting venues.

Foursquare’s interest in Hollywood is believed to be purely an extension of that central mission. The company is expected to leverage UTA’s relationships to turn companies that might otherwise be passive participants in the check-in experience into more active partners. For instance, a record label, concert venue and musical act could all coordinate with Foursquare in a way that can drive value-adds to fans including marketing and merchandising opportunities.

The strategy is a reflection of Foursquare’s focus on real-world locations. Signing with UTA isn’t likely to yield departures into the social-TV phenomenon, which has seen numerous start-ups put an entertainment spin on Foursquare’s approach. Nor is Foursquare looking to be turned into a TV show, get product placements or lend its logo in the lower-third of TV shows.

Social-media firms like Facebook and Twitter don’t typically sign with talent agencies, though their interest in Hollywood tends to lead them to maintain West Coast offices. Foursquare is headquartered in New York and hasn’t spread out much beyond a San Francisco office that handles the engineering end of the business.

Foursquare has dabbled in Hollywood as far back as 2010, with content companies from Warner Bros. to Bravo having used the social-media platform to promote their programming. More recently, tie-ups have ranged from a partnership with VH1 to promote its “Save the Music” foundation to author Nicholas Sparks using Foursquare to spread the word about the release of “The Lucky One,” the latest of his books to be adapted to film.

Eric Kuhn, head of social media at UTA, was responsible for bringing in Foursquare. He first worked with the company in his previous post overseeing social media at CNN, where he collaborated with Foursquare on several initiatives.

“We’re excited to be able to connect this forward-thinking company with other forward thinkers throughout the entertainment industry,” he said.

With a digital division under the direction of Brent Weinstein, UTA already counts numerous tech companies to its client list, including Crimson Hexagon, Brand Affinity Technologies and Young Hollywood.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    ‘Ad Astra’ Once Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending for the third week in a row with “Ad Astra.” Ads placed for the sci-fi film had an estimated media value of $6.47 million through [...]

  • Andrew MorseVariety's Entertainment & Techonology Summit,

    Listen: CNN Digital Chief Says Trump Doesn't Drive Traffic Success

    No subject might get as much attention across CNN’s digital properties as Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean the news network is dependent on him for web traffic. Andrew Morse, executive VP and general manager of the AT&T-owned company’s digital operations, pointed to recent coverage of natural disasters and international incidents as more potent audience [...]

  • Jonah Hill attends the press conference

    Instagram Debuts Jonah Hill’s ‘Un-filtered’ Bullying Docu-Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Facebook’s Instagram, as part of its anti-bullying initiatives, funded a new series directed by Jonah Hill featuring teens and young adults talking about their experiences with bullying. The four-episode “Un-filtered” goes live Wednesday (Sept. 18) on Instagram’s IGTV channel on its mobile app and the web. In the unscripted series, Hill interviews people aged 13-25 [...]

  • Plex

    Plex Signs Up Lionsgate for Upcoming Ad-Supported Video Service

    Media center app maker Plex has struck a deal with Lionsgate to add some of the studio’s movies and TV shows to its upcoming ad-supported video service. The news comes just weeks after Plex announced a similar deal with Warner Bros. “Lionsgate is one of the biggest names in the business and we know our [...]

  • Comcast Xfinity Flex

    Comcast Drops $5 Monthly Fee for Xfinity Flex Video-Streaming Set-Top for Broadband Customers

    Comcast will hand out one free set-top box for broadband subscribers to access Xfinity Flex, its video-streaming product for internet-only customers, as it looks to punch up the value of its high-speed internet business. Brian Roberts, Comcast’s chairman and CEO, announced the new strategy at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference Wednesday in New York. “One of [...]

  • Facebook Portal TV

    Facebook Announces $149 Portal TV Device, 2 New Portal Smart Displays

    Facebook wants you to put a camera into your living room: The company officially unveiled its Portal TV device Wednesday that brings video chatting, augmented reality (AR) and Facebook Watch to any TV set. In addition, the company also unveiled two new Portal smart display devices that are aggressively priced to grow the company’s home [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content