As music CD sales plummet and the long term price of recorded music trends towards free, live music will evolve from being a way to market new album releases to quite possibly the primary income stream for most artists – even the big ones.
That’s why services like iLike, which determine your favorite music based on your iTunes listening habits and then tell you about upcoming concerts for those artists, are on the rise. Relative newcomer Songkick goes even further – it makes educated guesses about what music you’ll like that you may not have heard before, and then suggests local live shows for you to attend.
Songkick founder Ian Hogarth says that 70% of U.S. adults attend a live music show every year, but we collectively spend 35 times as much on going to movies as we do on concerts. There is a big opportunity to increase the size of the market, he says. but people need more information on who’s performing, where, and when.
Songkick focuses on artists that are still alive (dead artists tend not to go on tour) – they’re tracking about 1 million of them in their database. Users can get recommendations on the Songkick site or via an iTunes plugin (Windows and Mac). And now Songkick is making their database available to partners. Larger partners can access the data via their API (music search engine SeeqPod does this). And smaller sites (music blogs, for example), can add upcoming concerts about artists they’re discussing to their blog posts and other content via a new “BandSense” product that auto-determines band names and inserts links to upcoming concerts.
API partners split revenue with Songkick 50/50. Blogs and smaller sites get 100% of the revenue for now.
Songkick was originally a Y Combinator startup and took a small amount of financing. Today they are announcing a second round, from The Accelerator Group and SoftTech VC. The company was founded by Ian Hogarth, Pete Smith and Michelle You.