Songkick has announced it will shut down on October 31, following months of litigation against Ticketmaster, according to a memo to clients that was obtained by entertainment magazine Variety.
The closure news comes only days after the two Ticketmaster employees named in Songkick’s lawsuit against Live Nation – Stephen Mead and Zeeshan Zaidi – left the firm.
Songkick’s legal action against Ticketmaster, which it will continue to pursue, is set to go to trial in November. The exact circumstances behind the pair’s departures have not been disclosed.
Songkick sold its primary concert discovery mobile platform to Warner Music Group, in a deal that excluded its ticketing arm, in July.
“I’m sad to write that on October 31, Songkick will bow to pressure from Live Nation and Ticketmaster and complete the shutdown of all ticketing operations (including the design and maintenance of artist webpages) we began earlier this year when Ticketmaster and Live Nation effectively blocked our US ticketing business,” founder and chief executive Matt Jones wrote in the letter seen by Variety.
Songkick first filed a lawsuit in 2015 when it accused Ticketmaster and Live Nation of anticompetitive acts. Papers filed said that artists who had used the ticketing platform in the past had seen their Ticketmaster featured pages abruptly removed.
However, in February, Songkick submitted new claims that staff at Ticketmaster stole trade secrets from the start-up and used them to develop its own rival service.
Prior to his role as director of client relations and artist services with Ticketmaster, Mead worked for CrowdSurge, which was acquired by Songkick in 2015. The accusing firm claims that Mead retained 85,000 Crowdsurge company documents, including business plans, financial information, contracts and more to create reports about potential new business after his departure to Ticketmaster.
In addition, Songkick alleges that Mead accessed test sites created for potential new CrowdSurge clients, which were only publicly available to those that knew how the URLs were formulated.
Songkicks’s primary allegation is that Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, was holding its acts to ransom, primarily in the US, if they chose to collaborate with Songkick on fan club pre-sales.
While Live Nation said the additional allegations were “baseless,” Songkick has submitted documents it claims show Mead accessing the Crowdsurge system.
Songkick’s letter continued: “Our antitrust, trade secret misappropriation and hacking lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue unabated, with trial currently scheduled to begin in the second week of November, just a month from now. Many of you receiving this note have helped us immensely as we prepare for our day in court, and even as we shutter our business, we will remain focused on pursuing a legal victory and making the live music industry better for artists and fans.”
It concluded that all services for artists, performers, and venues will terminate on October 27. Songkick confirmed that all outstanding amounts for tickets already sold for future dates will be paid in full.