- Mediakix had been a prominent influencer-marketing agency. Then it started to unravel.
- Mediakix has lost most of its staff, missed some payments, and disconnected its phone, sources said.
- Read Insider’s investigation into what happened at the agency.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Mediakix had been a fixture in the influencer industry for nearly a decade.
But in the last several months, the stature Mediakix took years to build started to crumble when the agency stopped paying some of its influencers, sources told Insider.
The influencer-marketing agency was founded by Evan Asano in 2011 and was based out of Santa Monica, California. For years, Mediakix had been connecting brands with influencers for paid campaigns on social-media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. The agency’s data reports about the industry and social media were also frequently cited by publications – including Insider.
Then in early 2020, the agency was acquired by a holding company named Stadiumred Group. At the time, Stadiumred group had a few other advertising agencies in its portfolio. Just as the acquisition took hold, however, the COVID-19 pandemic flipped the advertising and marketing industries on their heads.
So what was really going down inside of Mediakix?
Here is a glimpse into the unraveling of one of the leading influencer-marketing agencies in the creator industry:
- In 2020, Mediakix started missing some payments to influencers it worked with, sources told Insider.
- But apparently, it wasn’t just influencers not being paid. About a year after the Stadiumred acquisition, Mediakix (and Stadiumred) also began to miss some payments to some staffers, sources said.
- Insider spoke with 10 former staffers at either Mediakix or Stadiumred. The former staffers at the two companies painted a clearer picture of what was happening inside of Mediakix behind closed doors.
- By the end of May, only one Mediakix staffer remained, the sources said. Asano, Mediakix’s founder, went on leave months earlier and an exodus of Mediakix staffers soon followed.
- “I had no power,” one former Mediakix employee told Insider. “And on top of being paid late, ethically, I wanted to leave.”
- Two sources told Insider that they were informed via communications from a Mediakix email that the agency was insolvent.
- And as of June, Mediakix’s office phone line remained disconnected.