The Rise and Fall of Mediakix: A Story of Unraveling and Missed Payments

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful strategy for brands to connect with their target audience. One prominent player in this field was Mediakix, an influencer-marketing agency that had been a fixture in the industry for nearly a decade. Founded by Evan Asano in 2011, Mediakix garnered a stellar reputation for its work with thousands of influencers across various platforms.

The Acquisition and the Promise of Growth

In early 2020, Mediakix experienced a significant development when it was acquired by Stadiumred Group, a holding company with a portfolio of four other agencies. The acquisition was seen as a strategic move to expand the collective of specialty agencies within Stadiumred Group. At the time, both Mediakix and Stadiumred had high hopes for the future, especially as the influencer marketing industry was projected to reach new heights. A widely cited report by Mediakix estimated that brands would spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022.

Unraveling and Missed Payments

However, the euphoria surrounding Mediakix’s acquisition would soon give way to a series of unfortunate events. As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on industries worldwide, the influencer marketing landscape faced its own set of challenges. Brands became cautious about their messaging, causing a wave of uncertainty in the industry. Mediakix, like many other companies, found itself grappling with the need to pivot and adapt to the rapidly changing circumstances.

In late 2020, rumors of “refinancing” within Stadiumred began to circulate among Mediakix team members. Employees noticed delays in payments, both for influencers and staff members. While some influencers took to social media to voice their concerns, Mediakix employees also expressed frustration at their unpaid wages. The situation escalated as former staffers revealed that payments had been consistently delayed for both full-time and contract employees, leading to a growing sense of unease and discontent within the company.

The Exodus and a Disconnected Phone Line

As the turmoil continued, it became apparent that Mediakix was experiencing a significant exodus of talent. By the end of May, all but one staffer had left the company, leaving it a mere shadow of its former self. The company’s founder and CEO, Evan Asano, had gone on leave, and many senior employees had departed following the acquisition. The once-bustling office in Santa Monica, California, now sat empty, with a disconnected phone line serving as a haunting reminder of the company’s downfall.

Influencers Speak Out

Throughout this period of unraveling, influencers who had worked with Mediakix came forward to share their stories of unpaid invoices and delayed payments. Tweets from influencers claiming they hadn’t been compensated began circulating on social media platforms like Twitter. The frustration extended beyond individual influencers, with talent management agencies also reporting unpaid invoices and broken promises from Mediakix.

A PR Disaster Unfolds

As influencers and their representatives voiced their concerns, the situation quickly turned into a public relations disaster for Mediakix. Industry peers began discussing the issue, and the reputation of the once-esteemed agency took a severe hit. The company’s Instagram account disappeared, and influencers and former employees alike struggled to get answers about their unpaid invoices. Mediakix’s silence in the face of mounting allegations only fueled the flames of discontent.

The Future Seems Bleak

As the dust settled, the future of Mediakix remained uncertain. Internal communications from Stadiumred Group revealed plans to wrap up existing campaigns and pivot the business model of Mediakix. However, the company’s website still stands, albeit with former employees removed from the listings. Influencers who were fortunate enough to receive payment from Mediakix considered themselves the exception rather than the rule. For many, the hope of reclaiming what was owed to them seemed increasingly unlikely.

Lessons Learned and the Future of Influencer Marketing

The downfall of Mediakix serves as a cautionary tale for the influencer marketing industry as a whole. The rapid growth and immense potential of this marketing strategy must be met with responsible business practices, transparent financial management, and open communication. Brands and influencers alike must carefully vet their partners to ensure that they are working with reputable agencies that prioritize fair compensation and ethical practices.

Moving forward, the industry must learn from the mistakes of the past. Establishing industry-wide standards for payment and ensuring clear contractual agreements can help prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. Influencer marketing has the power to be a mutually beneficial collaboration between brands, influencers, and agencies. By fostering an environment of trust and accountability, the industry can continue to thrive and deliver meaningful results for all parties involved.


The rise and fall of Mediakix is a cautionary tale that sheds light on the challenges faced by the influencer marketing industry. Despite its initial success and acquisition by Stadiumred Group, internal financial issues and missed payments led to the agency’s downfall. Influencers and employees alike suffered the consequences of delayed compensation, resulting in a tarnished reputation for Mediakix.

As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to prioritize transparency, open communication, and fair business practices. Brands, influencers, and agencies must work together to establish industry-wide standards to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. By doing so, the influencer marketing industry can continue to grow and thrive, providing valuable opportunities for brands and influencers to connect with their target audiences in a meaningful way.

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