News October 16, 2017

Songkick closing down, but court case against Ticketmaster to continue

Songkick closing down, but court case against Ticketmaster to continue

Global ticketing service Songkick – which operates in Australia and 60 other countries – will cease operations on October 31.

Since 2007, 15 million subscribers around the world have used it to track their favourite touring artists, receive alerts, discover concerts and buy tickets. Six million events were listed on it, and artist could sell straight to their fans through their websites,

Among those who used Songkick were Paul McCartney, Adele, Metallica, Mumford & Sons, Pixies and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

It is not known how many Australians used the service.

CEO Matt Jones, in a statement thanking the music industry and company staff, took the opportunity to hit out at Live Nation and its subsidiary Ticketmaster. 

“I’m sad to write that on October 31, Songkick will bow to pressure from Live Nation and Ticketmaster and complete the shutdown of all ticketing operations (including the design and maintenance of artist webpages) we began earlier this year when Ticketmaster and Live Nation effectively blocked our U.S. ticketing business.”

Jones promised that all outstanding amounts owed from tickets to shows past the closing date would be paid in full.

He also stressed that the anti-competition lawsuit that the company filed against Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue, with trial scheduled to start on November 14.

“Many of you receiving this note have helped us immensely as we prepare for our day in court, and even as we shutter our business, we will remain focused on pursuing a legal victory and making the live music industry better for artists and fans.”

In the lawsuit, Songkick claimed that two of its executives had used their positions in Songkick to hack its computers and use trade secrets, including which artists it was negotiating with, to bolster Ticketmaster’s own services. 

The two accused, Stephen Mead and Zeeshan Zaidi, went on to join Ticketmaster. 

Mead became Director of its Artist Services unit, and Zaidi, the Senior VP/GM of its concert and touring division OnTour.

The two are no longer at Ticketmaster.

Live Nation earlier called the suit “baseless” and that it “failed to show virtually any likelihood of success on the merits.”

Songkick’s concert-discovery app, website and naming rights, acquired in July by Warner Music Group – to give the label access to Songkick’s 15 million subscribers and a way to connect with Warner acts – will continue functioning.

The Warner Music Group buy did not include Songkick’s ticketing business, which was to have continued under a new name under Jones.

Jones was among the founders of the company in New York ten years ago, alongside Ian Hogarth (Co-Chairman), Adam Schiffer (COO), Pete Smith and Michelle You.

In June 2015, Songkick merged with CrowdSurge, an artist ticketing services provider that Jones and Hogarth set up seven years before.

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