App of the Month: Songkick Concerts
App of the Month: Songkick Concerts

Concert listings site Songkick has a popular new iPhone app and its CEO is optimistic about live music in 2011. Not a bad way to start the 2011 summer concert season.

The company's two-week-old app that touts "100,000 concerts in your pocket" has already surpassed 100,000 activations. An iPhone app was the top feature request from users and was a logical extension of the Songkick experience, CEO Ian Hogarth tells Billboard.biz. "The average music fan increasingly carries their music with them, on the go. Concerts and tickets are kind of a time-sensitive thing. You want to know when tour dates get announced for your favorite bands as soon as possible."

Being notified of an upcoming concert is one thing. But remembering to buy a ticket when it goes on sale is another - especially a concert that will sell out in a short period of time? That's not a feature currently on the iPhone app. But Hogarth agrees with me on the value of on-sale notifications and says it's a feature Songkick would like to add in the future. "It's basically on the road map, but we're not quite sure when yet."

As for the broader live music market, Hogarth believes people are going to more concerts this year than in 2010. "My general impression is that enthusiasm [for live music] has increased, and that's partly a function of the economy and it's partly a function of the digital landscape continuing to evolve and improve."

Indeed, the digital landscape for live events has changed. Aside from Songkick, companies from Ticketmaster to Ticketfly and Eventbrite have embraced social media to help inform consumers about upcoming shows.

To that end, Hogarth points to a company survey of its users that found Songkick had led to a 70% increase in the number of concerts they attend. "We've always believed - and everyone in the industry has believed - that if you give fans better information, more personalized information, about upcoming concerts, they will go to more concerts."