How Hollywood Agencies Pivoted in Pandemic: Downsizing, Streaming and Making Peace With Writers

“Agencies will rebound just fine post-pandemic,” a top agent says

Hollywood’s movie studios weren’t the only industry players that shifted business models during the pandemic. The talent agency business was rocked to its core as well. In the early months of the pandemic, live events and movie and TV productions ground to a halt — and with them went the agencies’ primary sources of revenue. Soon enough, there were thousands of layoffs and furloughs at UTA, Paradigm, ICM Partners, APA, CAA and WME.

“You have to try to bring costs down more in line with revenues,” one agency insider explained. “All the agencies had to make that tough call based on recurring revenues and what you had coming in… And you always have to keep those options on the table the longer the pandemic drags on. It’s hard to find new money to make up for that loss.”

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Umberto Gonzalez

Umberto Gonzalez

Film Reporter ◘umberto@thewrap.com◘Twitter: @elmayimbe