Songkick launches Kayak for gigs

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Songkick, a music events tracker, has launched offering a number of services, including a Kayak-style search engine for concert tickets. The site is aggregating tickets from 10 primary and secondary ticket vendors in the US and UK, no mean feat. The service allows users to install a Media player plugin (for iTunes, Winamp and WMP) which automatically tracks artists in your music library and suggests when they are on tour. Songkick’s Ian Hogarth tells me that their average beta user was tracking 200 artists, 30 of which were touring at any one time. You can also add or delete artists manually.

For revenues Songkick has ‘Bandsense’ a kind of AdSense for mp3 blogs. Mp3 blogs are now a common way for fans to discover new music, covering every genre imaginable and allowing you to easily sample the music. Bandsense allows mp3 bloggers to automatically tell their readers about relevant tours in their area. Any time an artist is mentioned that is on tour, Bandsense automatically creates a link to the artist page on songkick so the reader can find out more. Songkick also has a built recommendation engine to recommend bands based on reviews and your own tastes.

The site is deceptively easy to use and almost too sparse in its simplicity. Links to ticket sites worked fine, but I haven’t had a chance to try out the media player plugin yet. I found adding bands to my profile was very intuitive and the system was smart enough to suggest similar bands. I’m not sure how much revenue Bandsense is going to earn – so perhaps the affiliate links to ticket vendors is going to be the better money spinner.

  • Tom

    Shame the plugin is Windows only, but personally I’d prefer just to keep my plugin and send them the URL to keep track of. It would be nice to have a preview on the band on their artist page, also if your moving between pages on the widget on the front page, come back your back to the first page again.

  • Shafqat

    I love Kayak and was immediately drawn to Songkick when you made the comparison. While the site is good, I think they could use a few more filters. After all, the ability to filter without hitting the back button is what makes this site (and Kayak) so very elegant. To start with, how about the ability to browse by genre, or some way to differentiate the headline acts from some of the smaller, niche acts such as the punk-metal gothic inspired underground bands (no disrespect of course). Either way, the Songkicker plugin is what sets this apart. Tough space to play, but at least they are innovating!

  • Michelle

    Thanks for all your comments. We’re working on the feature to import profiles, filter by genre, better listings, and improved artist pages. I guess it’s always the case with start-ups that you bite off more than you can chew.

    In terms of browsing–the back button issue is my personal pet peeve, so we’re at work on that right as well.

    I hope you’ll continue to use our site and keep the helpful comments coming.

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