Warner Music Group Just Acquired Songkick — But They Didn’t Go Near Its Ticketing Business

Warner Music Group Acquires SongKick
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To avoid pending litigation against Ticketmaster and Live Nation, Warner Music Group chose not to acquire Songkick’s ticketing business.

In an announcement last Friday, Warner Music Group has acquired selected assets from Songkick.  The acquisition includes the discovery app and website, along with associated trademarks.  The deal doesn’t include the ticketing business, however.

As part of the deal, several Songkick employees will move across to Warner Music Group.  Its concept discovery app will operate as a standalone brand.  WEA —Warner Music Group’s artist and label services division — will oversee the brand.

Speaking on the acquisition, WEA President Tony Harlow said in a statement,

Fans all over the world trust Songkick to help them find events featuring the artists they love.  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.

In the press release posted on WMG’s website, the acquisition deal specifically excludes the ticketing business. WMG stated,

“The acquisition excludes Songkick’s ticketing business and pending litigation associated with the ticketing business.”

So, no conjecture of guesswork needed on that one.  And here’s the quick history that scared away the investors.

Songkick previously sued Ticketmaster and Live Nation over alleged anticompetitive acts.  Accordingly, the lawsuit alleges that artists who have used Songkick’s ticketing platform in the past have seen their Ticketmaster featured pages abruptly removed.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation may have also conducted some black hat intelligence hacking.  The incident allegedly happened through former CrowdSurge top executive Stephen Mead.  After signing a non-disclosure agreement with CrowdSurge, Ticketmaster executives pressured Mead to hand over 85,000 classified documents.  CrowdSurge had teamed up with Songkick in 2015 to take on both companies.

Matt Jones, CEO and co-founder of Songkick, hasn’t stopped his fight against Ticketmaster and Live Nation.  In the press release statement, he said,

“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.”

But that’s not Warner Music’s beef.

Image by star5112 (CC by 2.0)

One Response

  1. Kyle

    Isn’t it weird reading a major label talking about DIRECT-to-fan, since THEY are the middlemen?