A Home for Live Music

When we first merged Songkick and CrowdSurge back in June 2015, we had one goal in mind: to make the live music experience better.

Eighteen months in, we still believe the only way to achieve this is by using technology to help artists better engage with both new and existing fans, to enable music lovers to discover new acts on the road, and to make sure fans get fair access to tickets for the bands they love the most.

Songkick is focused on progress and innovation, and we have no intention of slowing down. We’re continuing to innovate, and perfect a platform that further empowers artists by connecting them directly with their fans through better discovery. And in turn, we’re keeping tickets affordable and easy for fans to access. The newly-merged Songkick has dedicated a lot of time and effort toward combating ticket bots and other scalping tactics that prevent fans from purchasing concert tickets at fair prices.

These problems are widespread and growing: the secondary market for concert tickets has doubled in recent years to over $8 billion and brokers and scalpers are more successful than ever. Around the world, artists and fans (those that suffer most from industrial scalping) have expressed outrage at how unethical and non-transparent the ticket sale process is.

Thankfully, Songkick is not alone in its fight against bots and scalping: on December 15, President Obama signed into law a bill that marked a turning point for our industry.

“The connection between artists and fans is so important, and it’s an honor and a pleasure to lead a company that is strengthening that connection every day.”

The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act declares tickets purchased by computer software in the United States an “unfair or deceptive act,” making it illegal for anyone to authorize such transactions directly or indirectly. This directly aligns with one of Songkick’s core missions: making the ticket-buying process easier and more effective for fans to see their favorite bands live. With BOTS, and additional government actions around the world including the UK Competition and Markets Authority launching an investigation to address how ticket scalping and bot use conflicts with consumer protection law, real efforts have been made this year to improve the ticket-buying experience. We commend these government efforts and the benefits they will bring artists and fans, but unfortunately they can only address part of the problem plaguing the concert industry today.

While the secondary market has exploded and scalpers are making high-demand shows less accessible than ever, as many as 40% of tickets continue to go unsold across the industry each year due to lack of concert discovery. The market inefficiencies we see today are the same ones we faced 10 years ago when I was promoting shows, and in many respects they’ve gotten worse since then. That’s why I’m so proud of what we’re doing at Songkick. Discovery is in our DNA, and our innovations attack two massive problems at once: getting real fans into high-demand shows at the prices artists want them to pay (instead of what scalpers want to charge), and getting more fans into other shows where poor discovery is constraining ticket sales.

“By selling directly to fans, we’ve seen that tickets sold through our technology are 4x less likely to end up on secondary sites”

The connection between artists and fans is so important, and it’s an honor and a pleasure to lead a company that is strengthening that connection every day. As we look back on 2016, we’re very proud of our accomplishments in the first full year Songkick has been out in the marketplace with its own anti-scalping technology. By teaming up directly with major artists including Adele, The Avett Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pixies, Metallica, Olly Murs, Sigur Ros, and many others, we’ve prevented more than 100,000 tickets from entering the secondary market via scalpers and bots these past 12 months – saving fans over $50 million in total. And by selling directly to fans, we’ve seen that tickets sold through our technology are 4x less likely to end up on secondary sites.




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This is perhaps best exemplified by our partnership with Adele for her recent tour, which we’re thrilled to help bring to a historic conclusion next summer. In order to ensure fans had the best access to The Finale, Songkick sold two thirds of the house for the four concerts at Wembley Stadium — the largest reserved concert in UK history. It was exactly one year ago when we first teamed up with Adele to ensure her tickets ended up in the hands of her real fans, and to date, we’ve sold almost half a million tickets for Adele worldwide on this touring cycle.

One out of every five attempts belonged to scalpers, bots, and fraudulent accounts, and were prevented from access to the advance sale. This left less than 2% of the venue’s seats from appearing on secondary sites for all four dates. By comparison, the industry average is typically 20% for in-demand shows.

“Our success in combatting scalpers this year proves that any artist can take control of the live experience, and better connect with their fans if they have the right tools to do so.”

As we look to the future at Songkick, we reflect on some of the other moments and surprises that have made the live experience great, for artists and fans alike. Last month, we partnered with The xx and their team as part of our Fan Rewards program, to mail free tickets to their 2017 UK/European tour to some of their biggest fans. This was the first time anyone had heard about these highly anticipated shows, and influential music sites including Pitchfork and NME covered some of the fan reactions. This year we also remember monumental ticketing moments, including traveling around the world with Metallica and ticketing three stadium shows in Mexico, and four nights in Denmark at a brand-new arena where they were the first rock band to ever perform.


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As a transformative 2016 comes to a close, we look forward to expanding Songkick’s support of artists and fans even further in 2017. Our platform is now available in 61 countries around the world, making Songkick the world’s leading artist-ticketing and concert discovery platform. We continue to do great work with partners as well: this year we added Pandora to our family of partners, which also includes Spotify, Soundcloud, and the recently announced partnership with Shazam that will roll out in 2017. Songkick was founded on the promise of improving the live experience: to be a bridge that connects artists directly with their fans. Our success in combatting scalpers this year proves that any artist can take control of the live experience, and better connect with their fans if they have the right tools to do so.

Thank you to everyone who supported the value of live with us this year. See you at the next show!

MJ


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