Marc Geiger, 35, has been a behind-the-scenes presence for some of the most influential musicians, events and record labels in the world of alternative music.
His latest venture, Artistdirect, is an attempt to create a one-stop shop for music on the Internet something of a Yahoo! for rock. The company combines a booking agency, a record label and the Ultimate Band List, which connects music fans to sites run by their favorite musicians. Artistdirect also runs "Stones Bazaar," the Rolling Stones' online store, as well as online stores for the Beastie Boys, Korn and Marilyn Manson.
"As you are perusing the Web site, you can click 'buy me' (to purchase an album)," Geiger said. "Or, for a hardcore fan, the artists themselves can have an e-mail go directly to a fan, announcing a new album."
The agency part of Artistdirect represents some of the biggest artists in alternative rock, including Pearl Jam, the Beastie Boys, Beck, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, Primus and Rage Against the Machine.
Geiger said the company was profitable in its first year, and expects to have revenues of about $7 million this year roughly double those from last year.
"Our goal is to build (the Ultimate Band List), and when you're building it, you tend to invest a lot of money," he said. "I would say, over the next 24 months, the goal is to build as much traffic and brand as we can."
Before co-founding Artistdirect with Don Muller early last year, Geiger had a long history of being ahead of the curve in the music industry.
While working as a booking agent in the 1980s, Geiger handled such artists as Jane's Addiction, New Order, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Pixies.
Later that year, Geiger went to work for producer Rick Rubin's American Recordings, where he signed the Jesus and Mary Chain, Love & Rockets and other alternative bands.
Geiger, a Connecticut native, starting out in the music industry running a record store in San Diego, and working as a radio disc jockey while still attending UC San Diego as a computer science student. He got the idea for Artistdirect while doing research on the Internet at American Recordings.
Karen Teitelman and Daniel Taub
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