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Tixxy bolsters team with key music tech hires

Start-up predictive concert recommendation service, Tixxy, is expanding its team with the addition of three new members of staff with experience in the realms of music, technology, and start-up culture.

Steve Peele II joins Ohio-based Tixxy as head of growth, where he will call upon his past experience at companies like dotloop, Astronomer, Everything But the House, Inman News and API Nation. Most recently, Peele served as a marketing director at US-based software development firm Nexient. He joins the Tixxy team as not only a marketing guru, but also a lifelong musician, ready to join the two worlds.

Cody Grup brings years of experience in the music industry to Tixxy, including as a booking agent and talent buyer for a number of operations including the Love as Arson Agency, The Verso Group and Go Ahead Booking, keeping his finger on the pulse of local music scenes in America in ways that will be invaluable to Tixxy’s work with local venues.

“Joining Eron Bucciarelli and the Tixxy team was an absolute no-brainer”

As founder and managing director of Force Media Management, music and technology have long been a hybrid focus for Randy Nichols. He has also worked with New York-based artist management company Red Light Management as an artist manager and advised the likes of Bandsintown, Immensity, Tension Division, and atVenu, on their music and technology ventures.

“Having been part of the software and startup community for the entirety of my career, executed two successful exits, and generally drawn toward all things technology, joining Eron [Bucciarelli, CEO] and the Tixxy team was an absolute no-brainer,” says Peele (pictured).

“Outside of the fact that I’m a diehard musician and music fan, Eron’s vision, industry knowledge, and track record speaks for itself. What is most intriguing for me is how I can help guide our growth engine in a scalable way by bringing my SaaS marketing experience to a product that has a natural depth and reach within an industry I care so much about.”

 


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Songkick Discovery “not going anywhere” after WMG buy

In contrast to its soon-to-be defunct ticketing platform, Songkick’s concert discovery app is “not going anywhere” following its purchase by Warner Music Group (WMG), the company has said.

Recorded music giant WMG acquired “selected assets” of Songkick – ie everything bar its ticketing business and all “pending litigation” associated with its legal battle with Live Nation – in July, with an announcement following earlier this month that its fan-club ticketing platform, formerly known as Crowdsurge, is to shut down at the end of October.

Despite the shuttering of its ticketing business, Songkick CEO Matt Jones said its lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster – which the company initiated in December 2015 over alleged abuses of the defendants’ “monopoly power” to stifle competition in the US ticketing market – will “continue unabated”. A source close to the situation tells IQ Songkick has retained a “skeleton crew” of “perhaps a dozen” ticketing staff to work full time on the court case.

Perhaps in response to conflicting media reports – articles in Pollstar, Exclaim!BrooklynVegan and elsewhere suggested the entire company is closing up shop – Songkick has moved to clarify that it’s still business as usual for its popular Discovery service, which it says is “still here for you for all of your concert needs”.

“Though we won’t be selling tickets, we’ll always be your trusted home for live music online”

“First things first, we’re not going anywhere!” reads a post on Songkick’s blog. “This summer we, the Songkick Discovery app and team, became part of the Warner Music Group family. Together we’ll be doubling down on our mission to improve the live experience, bring fans and artists closer together and, of course, make sure you never ever miss your favourite artists live. It’s a super exciting step for us, and for our awesome users, and we’re psyched about what the future holds.

“You can still count on us to be the first to tell you about new concerts, and to point you to the fairest, safest places to buy tickets. Though we won’t be selling tickets ourselves, we’ll always be your trusted home for live music online.

“In short, Songkick and [artist platform] Tourbox are still here for you for all of your concert needs. We’re excited to keep moving fast, doing cool shit and putting fans first. So stay tuned for exciting news coming soon  –  and here’s to the future!”

The Songkick–Live Nation trial is set to kick off next month, although IQ understands it is now likely to be delayed until the new year.

 


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Songkick to shutter ticketing division

Songkick is to shut down its ticketing operation at the end of October, founder and CEO Matt Jones has said in an email to clients.

Songkick, a concert discovery platform, has sold tickets since June 2015, when it merged with white-label ticketing platform Crowdsurge, partnering with artists including Adele and Metallica to sell directly to fans through websites and fan clubs. Label giant Warner Music Group acquired “selected assets” of Songkick – everything bar its ticketing business and all associated “pending litigation” – in July.

That litigation concerns a legal battle with Live Nation/Ticketmaster, which the company initiated in December 2015 over alleged abuses of its “monopoly power” to stifle competition. Despite stepping back from ticketing, Jones says the lawsuit, which is set to begin in November, will continue “unabated”.

“I’m sad to write that on 31 October, 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 US ticketing business,” Jones writes in the letter, first obtained by Variety and confirmed as genuine by IQ. “Songkick’s concert discovery app, which was sold to Warner Music Group in July, will continue uninterrupted under the WMG umbrella.

“Our antitrust, trade secret misappropriation and hacking lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue unabated, with trial currently scheduled to begin in the second week of November, just a month from now. 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.”

“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”

The lawsuit accuses Stephen Mead and Zeeshan Zaida, two former Crowdsurge/Songkick employees who moved to Ticketmaster, of illegally accessing confidential Songkick information with the intention of turning it over to their new employer, reports Amplify. Both have since exited Ticketmaster.

Jones concludes his letter by thanking all Crowdsurge/Songkick employees and clients, “who [have] worked tirelessly over the last ten years with nothing short of a remarkable passion to better the live experience for artists and fans”.

“If you are an artist, promoter or venue for whom we have sold tickets to a show occurring on a future date, you will be contacted individually over the following three business days to arrange for payment,” he writes. “All outstanding amounts will be paid in full.

“If you are an artist, promoter or venue currently using our services to sell tickets, list shows, store customer data or power parts or all of your website, these services will become unavailable on 27 October. 

On behalf of myself and all of my colleagues, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. Once again: thank you, for everything.”

 


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