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WMG acquires Songkick discovery platform

The label group has bought Songkick's discovery app, website and trademark – but not its ticketing business, which has "pending litigation" against Live Nation

By Jon Chapple on 14 Jul 2017

Ian Hogarth, Matt Jones, Songkick, WMG

Matt Jones (left) with Songkick co-founder Ian Hogarth

Recorded music giant Warner Music Group (WMG), one of the ‘big three’ record labels, has acquired “selected assets” from Songkick, including its concert-discovery app, website and the Songkick trademark.

The surprise acquisition excludes Songkick’s ticketing business – established in June 2015, when it merged with white-label ticketing platform Crowdsurge – and, crucially, the “pending litigation” associated with it. The company has been locked in a legal battle with Live Nation/Ticketmaster since December 2015, when Songkick sued the conglomerate over alleged abuses of its “monopoly power” to stifle competition.

The Songkick app will operate as a standalone brand overseen by WEA, WMG’s artist and label services division. WEA services include sales, distribution, streaming account management and playlisting, analytics, insight, artist websites, VIP experiences, fan clubs and merchandising, and the acquisition will “lead to additional offerings for Songkick users”, says WMG.

At press time the direction of Songkick’s ticketing business is unclear; IQ has requested clarification. WMG is already an investor in Songkick through its parent company, Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, which invested a further US$15 million in last August.

“I’m excited to pass the baton on the discovery service to the great team at WMG, an ideal organisation to carry on this mission and to take it in new, innovative directions”

“Fans all over the world trust Songkick to help them find events featuring the artists they love,” says Tony Harlow, president of WEA. “It’s a passionate, highly engaged music community, always on the lookout for new experiences. Bringing together Songkick’s discovery platform and world-­class technology with our existing e­commerce expertise and global reach represents a powerful step in strengthening and evolving our direct-­to-­fan capabilities.”

Matt Jones, CEO of Songkick, adds: “Songkick was founded on the promise of improving the live experience for fans and the artists they love. Over the years, we have helped tens of millions find their next great live experience, and today I’m excited to pass the baton on the discovery service to the great team at WMG, an ideal organisation to carry on this mission and to take it in new, innovative directions.

“And, on behalf of the many artists and fans we’ve served over the last decade, we are committed to continuing our litigation against Live Nation and Ticketmaster independently.”

WMG’s other interests in live music include promoter Warner Music Live in Finland and, formerly, Nous Productions in France, which was last August acquired by Live Nation.


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