Warner Music Group buys concert discovery service Songkick

Warner Music Group announced today it’s acquiring the selected assets of the music platform Songkick, including its app for finding concerts and the company’s trademark. The deal will not include Songkick’s ticketing business, however, nor the pending litigation Songkick has against Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Songkick has been involved in a lawsuit against the major ticketing companies, which alleges antitrust violations, anticompetitive behavior, and intentional interference. The suit was filed in December 2015, and continues today. In an amended complaint from this February, Songkick had also alleged a Ticketmaster employee hacked into protected CrowdSurge computers to acquire trade secrets and confidential information. (The ticketing business CrowdSurge was acquired by Songkick in 2015).

In other words, Warner Music today is getting Songkick’s IP and its user base of 15 million monthly actives, without all the legal drama. But it’s unclear for now if or how Warner plans to incorporate a ticketing component into Songkick, given that’s not included with this acquisition.

With regard to the pending litigation, Songkick CEO and co-founder Matt Jones says he’s committed to continuing the fight against Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Warner Music says the Songkick concert discovery app will operate as its own standalone brand, but will be overseen by Warner Music’s artist and label services division, WEA.

This is the division that manages the sales, distribution, streaming account management and playlisting, analytics, insight, artist websites and webstores, VIP experiences, fan clubs, and merchandising. The move will lead to “additional offerings for Songkick users,” said Warner Music Group in an announcement, but didn’t go into further detail.

“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,” said Tony Harlow, President, WEA, in a statement. “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,” he added.

Connecting fans to concerts from their favorite artists is seen as an important part of the larger music discovery business today, and is an area the streaming services have moved into through partnerships and deals of their own. But there’s been upheaval in this space in recent weeks. Troubled Pandora just sold Ticketfly – the ticketing service that it acquired in October 2015 for $450 million – to Eventbrite for $200 million.

Less than a week later, Eventbrite teamed up with Spotify to add a ticketing component to Spotify’s existing Songkick-like concert discovery feature.

Founded in 2007, Songkick had raised $15 million in funding from Access Industries – a company owned by Warner Music board member Len Blavatnik, that has a significant stake in Warner Music Group. Access Industries has put over $30 million into Songkick to date.

Terms of the Warner/Shopkick deal were not disclosed.