Blavatnik’s Access invests millions in Songkick and Crowdsurge merger

Concert discovery service Songkick has merged with artist-ticketing service CrowdSurge – as Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries leads a $16m investment in the newly-combine company.

The merged business will continue to operated under the Songkick brand.

Together, Songkick and Crowdsurge say they partner with 500 of the world’s biggest artists, as well as being used by 10 million monthly fans and ticketing over 10,000 events worldwide each year.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Other participants in the $16m funding round were Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

As well as being the outright owner of Warner Music Group, Blavatnik’s Access owns a significant stake in streaming company Deezer. Access also participated in a $60m investment in Beats Music before Apple acquired it as part of a $3bn deal.

 Songkick allows fans to track the artists they listen to on Spotify, iTunes and beyond, delivering alerts when those artists announce nearby concerts.

It boasts integrations into digital platforms including Pitchfork, Rdio, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

CrowdSurge is the world’s largest artist-to-fan ticketing platform, helping performers sell tickets directly to their fans. Established touring artists who have partnered with CrowdSurge, include J Cole, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Paul McCartney, Tiësto, Blake Shelton, St. Vincent, Jack White and The xx.

“We are thrilled to combine forces with CrowdSurge and bring together our innovative technologies and expertise,” said Ian Hogarth, co-founder and CEO of Songkick.

“One of the biggest challenges facing the concert industry is that on average between 40% and 50% of concert tickets go unsold, simply because fans don’t know a show is happening.

“Songkick and CrowdSurge have both been tackling this problem independently, and together, we’ll make it easier for more fans to go to more shows, while helping to ensure sell-out audiences for artists.”

Said Matt Jones, founder and CEO of CrowdSurge: “In the last decade, live music has eclipsed recorded music as the biggest source of revenue in the music industry. Artists are now making more than 80% of their revenue from touring, and forging their most powerful connection with fans from the stage each night.

“Over the same period, artists have become among the most savvy brand managers online, with musicians dominating the list of most followed accounts on social media. CrowdSurge has long connected these dots, empowering artists to engage with and ticket directly to their fans in creative ways that prefigure the magic of their live show.

“We share a common vision with Songkick, one where every show is a sell-out. Joining forces with Songkick will allow us to realize this future by better connecting artists and fans to improve the ticket-buying experience and make concert-going more convenient and accessible.”

Award-winning British artist Ellie Goulding commented: “Ever since my first shows in clubs, I’ve used CrowdSurge to keep my fans, friends and followers informed about my gigs in creative ways.

“With today’s news, I’m excited to add the 600,000 trackers I have on Songkick to this group!”

Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Access Industries, said, “With its experienced management team, extensive artist network and fan base, the new Songkick is well positioned as a global powerhouse in the concert industry.”

[Pictured: Ian Hogarth and Matt Jones, wearing each other’s faces on their T-shirts.]

Music Business Worldwide

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