Category: Songkick

Songkick has its fans. Can it win over artists next?

Photo: Songkick co-founders Pete Smith, Michelle You and Ian Hogarth. Credit: Songkick.
Songkick has already made inroads with music fans. The site and mobile app combs through concert data to clue in fans when a favorite act is coming to town and currently boasts about 6 million monthly users. Now, with its content plugged into Facebook, YouTube and beyond, Songkick is reaching out to the artist community.

On Wednesday, the London-based company unveiled Tourbox, a back-end widget that allows artists and their teams to simultaneously update tour information across of multitude of direct-to-fan platforms, be it Spotify, Facebook or YouTube.

The new feature hits the ground running, as Tourbox was developed with input from Chicago's The Windish Agency, a powerhouse independent booking firm. Most of the Windish Agency's approximately 550 acts, including M83 and Cloud Nothings, will now see their data pushed through Tourbox. Regardless of which platform an artist uses, Songkick is intergrated into the Windish site, allowing for any updates from the firm's acts to instantly enter the Songkick system.

Songkick recently received a hearty vote of confidence from Sequoia Capital, which invested $10 million in the company. Much of Songkick's data come from ticketing companies and promoters, and Tourbox allows artists to have greater control over tour information being spread across social networks. Such a feature could make life on the road a little easier for an independent or budding act, as, for instance, Tourbox can instantly dispense information on any canceled or rescheduled dates. 

"Through Songkick’s extensive network of partners and their new tools, the lives of our artists are greatly simplified, and their shows get incredible promotion on the channels where people listen to music and discover concerts," said Windish Agency founder Tom Windish in a statement. "We see this as just a start to our work with Songkick."

Those who use Songkick end up attending twice as many concerts a year after downloading the app as they did before, according to the company.


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Photo: Songkick co-founders Pete Smith, Michelle You and Ian Hogarth. Credit: Songkick.

Is Spotify the new music platform? Songkick thinks so


Bands may think of platforms as stages for their performances. But in the digital world, the platforms themselves are the new rock and roll. Just think -- Android is a platform. Apple's iOS is a platform. And so is Facebook. 

Next up: Spotify? Ian Hogarth, the charismatic chief executive of Songkick, certainly thinks so. Last year, when Spotify announced it would welcome music applications on its digital music streaming service, Songkick was among the first to sign on.

The Songkick app clues Spotify listeners when their favorite bands will be in town and hooks them up with ticket vendors. Those who use Songkick end up attending twice as many concerts a year after downloading the app as they did before, leading big investors such as Sequoia Capital to invest $10 million in the London-based company.

What makes platforms so sexy and valuable is their ability to gather big audiences that make purchases by the billion. Android, for example, is embedded in more than 300 million mobile phones and tablets. Apple's iOS is so prevalent that the company recently boasted 25 billion application downloads. And Facebook has 800 million active users.

Hogarth now believes that Spotify is the next big audience aggregator, except in a narrower sense. 

"Spotify is the first mainstream vertical platform for music," said the 30-year-old British entrepreneur.  

His proof: The Songkick app has been downloaded 100,000 times since it was made available on Spotify late last year, Hogarth announced Wednesday. While that's just a fraction of the 5 million people who use Songkick each month, Hogarth is convinced that it will take off.

Right now, that might seem like a stretch, he admits. Though Spotify counts 10 million active users, 3 million of whom pay for the premium versions, it has just a dozen or so apps on its platform, including ones from Rolling Stone magazine, Def Jam, Warner Music, Tweetvine and others.

Is Hogarth correct? Time will tell.


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Photo: Songkick co-founders Pete Smith, Michelle You and Ian Hogarth. Credit: Songkick. 


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