Industry News

Songkick suit could change Ticketmaster business model

Success for Songkick in its upcoming court date with Ticketmaster could “undermine” the US ticketing sector business model according to an expert summary of the case.

Commenting on the antitrust challenge, which is due to be heard in California from November 14, in a piece for MLex Market Insight, Joshua Sisco and Mike Swift argue that it is the biggest threat to Ticketmaster’s hegemony in the North American market.

“Few antitrust cases have the kind of sizzle that Songkick and Ticketmaster are bringing to a Los Angeles courtroom,” they wrote.

It is noted that Songkick, which is in the process of closing down, can only hope “to be made financially whole” as it claims upwards of $1bn (£759m/€852m) in damages. Songkick argues that it “was unlawfully pushed out of business by the ticketing giant’s exclusive contracts with music venues”. It also contends that Ticketmaster and Live Nation conspired with its own former employees to steal confidential files and trade secrets.

While Ticketmaster could lose out financially, the implications of defeat in court are greater. Importantly, a ruling in favour of Songkick could threaten the exclusive agreements between ticketing operators and venues, according to Sisco and Swift.

The pair wrote: “A successful challenge could undermine the business model based on lucrative exclusivity payments, and change the way concert tickets are sold in the US.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that Songkick will shut down on October 31, following months of litigation against Ticketmaster.