Extreme Reach Payroll Solutions Review & Alternatives [2023]

extreme reach

In the complex world of entertainment production, the company you choose for payroll services holds immense sway over the success of your creative projects. Pioneers in the advertising technology sector, and then having branched into payroll services, Extreme Reach might seem like a natural contender to handle this aspect. 

However, based on this Extreme Reach review of their entertainment payroll services, it appears that they might not be living up to their reputation. Issues range from complex user interfaces to extensive training times–leaving some of their customers a desire for a change. 

Let’s get started! 

What does Extreme Reach Do?

Extreme Reach helps companies launch and manage advertising campaigns through workflow integration like AI-driven analyses, creative and production tools, and asset management to increase the speed and accuracy of each campaign.  This platform provides clients insights into what assets travel far, which ones are being used, and real-time engagement metrics.

Regarding talent management, Extreme Reach still uses the logistical approach to help brands, agencies, and production companies behind the scenes. Their goal is to ensure they’re always in compliance when helping clients manage talent and rights, and services include music licensing and publishing, royalty negotiations, and contract management. 

In this review, we’re going to focus on Extreme Reach’s payroll branch. The platform’s payroll solutions include payroll and incentive management, production accounting, onboarding, residuals, and more. We’ll go over these features as well as cover Extreme Reach’s pros and cons and alternative payroll solutions. 

Who Is the Owner of Extreme Reach?

Extreme Reach was founded by Tim Conley in 2008, who served as COO and CEO until 2017. They have recently appointed Louisa Wong as the CEO this past May. 

Extreme Reach Review

Extreme Reach promises to make a substantial difference in the ease and effectiveness of product payroll. Does it live up to its promises?

We’re about to find out. 

Extreme Reach Products and Services

Extreme Reach’s two main features are Linx and Luca.

Luca is Extreme Reach’s accounting tool that provides data and insights for entertainment budgeting. Clients get alerts, analytics, and reporting, a view of their projects, and the ability to track tax incentives from one place.  

Linx serves as a paperless independent contractor payroll service that can help with onboarding and time cards. 

Other services offered by Extreme Reach Payroll Solution are: 

  • Payroll: Extreme Reach helps with payroll calculations, issuing paychecks to talent, and managing workers’ compensation claims submissions on their client’s behalf. 
  • Residuals: Clients can schedule residual payments as well as receive data and analytics. 
  • Production Incentives: Clients can access production incentives map for the U.S. and Canada with overviews of state, province, city, and county programs. 
  • Health Services: Provides ACA compliance management, including enrollment and administration. Extreme Reach also tries to help clients maintain communication and provide information reporting to federal agencies. 
  • Labor Relations: Helps make sure their clients’ employees are paid in compliance with their agreements and report all payments to the relevant guilds, unions, and trusts. 
  • Accountant Resources: A self-service platform feature that comes with educational tools and training tools. 

Extreme Reach also has a hub of professional documents like workers’ comp, W-9s, tax forms, and more that clients can download for free.


  • Cloud-based solutions Linx and Luca help streamline onboarding and entertainment payroll process
  • Production incentives maps that show overviews of state, city, and province programs
  • User can customize their dashboards and reporting 
  • Luca feature can integrate with other systems


  • The platform is so complex that new clients have to book hours-long training sessions to learn how to use it
  • Extreme Reach recommends that their clients use Luca in Chrome despite claiming that it supports all browsers
  • Doesn’t have a very friendly user interface
  • There aren’t any tools or services that help with booking and casting talent

Extreme Reach Entertainment Payroll Alternatives

While Extreme Reach has some helpful features, its complexity and cost might not make it the right payroll service for your business. And that’s okay! As a producer, it’s worth it to take some time to find the perfect fit for your productions and teams. 

So if Extreme Reach didn’t pass your vibe check, we have a few alternatives for you to review so you can find the perfect payroll service.

1. LÜK Network 

Luk logo

LÜK‘s all-inclusive payroll services for production are specifically tailored to navigate the intricate needs of the entertainment industry. Whether dealing with independent contractors or cast and crew members, the platform efficiently manages worker classification, workers’ compensation, invoices and payments, payroll taxes, and more.

But we don’t stop at payroll. LÜK also provides casting and booking tools to simplify talent management for modern producers. Select your desired talent for a virtual or in-person casting, choose the date and time, and your dedicated booking assistant will confirm the talent for you.

Our mission is to organize and streamline the entire workload of producers so you can get back to the creative work that you love.


  • Entertainment payroll processing: All talent and contractors are paid in accordance with federal and state labor laws. Clients can also access payout confirmations and reports. 
  • Worker classification: Handles all worker classifications on behalf of the producers to avoid any tax and legal troubles.
  • Worker’s comp: Provides 1099 workers’ comp to any production. 
  • Employer of record: Assumes responsibility for all the financial and legal procedures associated with contractor payroll, workers comp, and tax documentation on your behalf.
  • Invoice Bundling: Combines all 1099 payments for bookings, freelancers, and more into one invoice to reduce paperwork and confusion. 
  • Tax management: Will automatically send 1099-NEC to independent contractors exceeding the threshold set by the IRS for tax season.  
  • Casting and booking: Offers tools that help producers connect with talent, view talent decks, hold casting calls, and more. 
  • Personal booking specialist: A booking specialist helps set up casting calls, communicate and confirm talent for the projects, and handle any documentation on behalf of the producer.
  • LÜK Pay: Producers receive one invoice while payments are sent directly to 1099 contractors. This feature also takes care of talent agencies and talent payouts. 

Onboard, approve, and pay 1099 contractors the easy way–that’s 100% compliant with U.S. labor laws.

Streamline your 1099 payroll

2. Cast & Crew

cast & crew logo

Cast & Crew provides cloud-based products and services for the worldwide entertainment sector. They supply tools that can simplify the digital integration processes for production teams and crew members. Additionally, they offer a digital timecard and workflow system, cutting down time spent on manual procedures.


  • MyCastCrew: A personalized hub that clients can use to manage production, personal, payroll, and store tax forms and documents from one location. 
  • Reporting: A self-service tool that gives clients access to customizable reports about payroll and production. 
  • Financial: Offers clients services for large and small production that include: incentive consulting, purchasing and procurement, completion-bond services, and financing. 
  • Worker’s Comp management: Manages all worker’s comp claims from start to finish, even after a production has ended. 
  • PLS+ platform accounting: An accounting system that tracks day-to-day costs, automatically pays vendors, and provides reports for production costs. 

3. Entertainment Partners Payroll

ep payroll logo

Entertainment Partners specializes in payroll services in the film industry, partnering with several leading studios and productions. SmartStart and SmartTime are their solutions designed to streamline onboarding and time-keeping procedures. They also have services for budgeting, scheduling, and documentation.


  • Production Finance Studio: Clients have access to live updates and streamline their workflow, onboarding, timecards, payroll, and accounting.  
  • SmartStart: Am onboarding tools equipped with templates, custom forms, automatic updates, compliance, and more. 
  • Smart Accounting: An accounting tool that supports file uploading, handles ACH payment processing, live dashboards, and offers one-click audit reporting. 
  • Casting Portal: Clients can book talent, send and track documents, and expedite payroll in their own private portal. 
  • Enterprise Hub: Made specifically for large studios and enterprises managing multiple projects, this tool tracks film assets, maintains compliance, and more.  

4. ABS Entertainment Payroll Services

ABS Payroll logo

ABS Payroll provides payroll services for independent films, television, and commercial productions. They have developed a platform for managing timecards and carrying out tax filings and direct deposits. ABS Payroll also helps facilitate production accounting, tax incentives management, and workers’ compensation assistance. 


  • Residual payroll processing: Calculates residuals for entertainment unions, expense reporting for all invoiced costs, and sends out quarterly reminders to active residuals accounts. 
  • Insurance: Helps clients purchase annual, short-term, or special entertainment insurance coverage. 
  • Production accounting: Detailed cost reporting, vendor management, and cash flow tracking to keep productions under budget. 
  • Employer-of-record payroll services: Services include processing for major unions, worker’s comp management, payroll tax reporting, paycheck processing, and more. 
  • Payroll Management Tracking System: Also known as PMTS, clients can send emails to contractors, employees, and talent to fill out paperwork, view and manage tax documents, and submit their timecards. 

Final Thoughts on Extreme Reach for Entertainment Payroll

Extreme Reach provides plenty of services to streamline tax management, documents, and payroll, but it’s not the easiest platform to use. It requires extensive time, training, and investment to use the product and get any of the benefits it purports it offers. 

If you’re looking for a payroll solution that instead organizes and streamlines your production workflow, try LÜK. 

LÜK’s easy-to-use platform was designed to make it simple for producers to track and manage your 1099 payroll. We classify works correctly, offer workers’ comp, act as your employer of record, automatically send out 1099-NECs for tax season, and bundle all payments into one invoice. 

But, that’s not all. 

LÜK is also a booking and casting marketplace: we connect producers with the best talent from multiple agencies. With established relationships, a booking specialist, and outsourced communication, the casting process is a piece of cake with us on your team.

We’ve got everything you need to make sure that your production runs smoothly. 

Book your demo with LÜK


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