Ticketmaster has long held a stranglehold over the ticketing industry, charging exorbitant processing fees and teaming up with soulless celebrities to make seeing your favorite artists as difficult as possible. Many have tried to topple the giant from its throne, but, as they say, another one bites the dust. Songkick, a company that specialized in selling tickets directly to fans through artists’ websites and fan clubs, has announced it is officially shutting down its ticketing operations after months of litigation with Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation.
“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 US ticketing business,” founder and CEO Matt Jones wrote in a memo sent to clients and obtained by Variety. You can read his full statement below.
Songkick’s lawsuit alleges that Ticketmaster poached one of its top executives, then used that employee to hack into its system, view real-time data, and effectively poach artists’ business. Despite shutting down, Jones says the company’s “antitrust, trade secret misappropriation and hacking lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue unabated.”
Update: A rep for Songkick clarifies that the company’s discover app, which is now owned by Warner Business Group, will continue to operate as normal.
Songkick’s trial is slated to begin in November. Read the letter to clients in full below:
Before I say anything, let me say thank you.
Thank you to the artists and managers who entrusted us with their tickets and audience; to the agents, labels, promoters and venues that partnered with us to make artists’ visions into realities; and to the many – always committed and now nearly all former – employees of CrowdSurge and Songkick who worked tirelessly over the last 10 years with nothing short of a remarkable passion to better the live experience for artists and fans.
With that said, 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 US ticketing business. 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.
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. 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 October 27.
On behalf of myself and all of my colleagues, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. Once again: thank you, for everything.
All the best,