Billboard.biz caught up with Songkick co-founder/CEO Ian Hogarth following his SXSW presentation on how the Internet is disrupting the concert industry. During the chat, discussed his service, how it encourages people to attend more concerts and how it facilitates ticket purchases.

Songkick was launched in 2007. It raised a reported $1.1 million in 2008 from a group of personal investors. Among Songkick's angel investors are such music-related names as Alex Zubillaga (former executive VP of digital strategy and business development at Warner Music Group), Daniel Miller (founder of Mute Records) and Dan Porter (co-founder of Ticketweb).

What is Songkick?
Songkick is a companion for the fan's concert experience. What we do is find the concert in the first place, because we know all the concerts happening, we know which bands you like, and we'll tell you when they come to your city and when tickets are for sale. And then after the concert, we'll give you a place to share your experience of the event, see what other people thought about it and provide a permanent record of all the concerts you've been to over your life.

To what degree are you acting as a filter to help people find events?
In a big way. At the moment, we know of 100,000 upcoming concerts that are listed on Songkick. As a fan, you're probably only interested in 10 of them. We filter that down by looking at your preferences through integration with iTunes, Pandora and Last.fm -- that kind of service -- to figure out which bands you should actually see.

Do you think you will get people to actually go out and see more bands?
I think we are. When we talk to fans, one of the main things they tell us is, "Since I started using Songkick, I've been going to more concerts." Our goal is to increase the size of the pie in terms of the number of concerts happening and the number of fans going.

Songkick has 1.4 million gigs in the database? How long did it take to get those?
Yeah, that's right. Fans have built it up over the last year-and-a-half.

And they're uploading set lists as well?
They're uploading lots of ways to document the event, whether it's a poster or a photo. Set lists have been particularly active. We've had 100,000 set lists added in the last six months. People clearly like the idea of sharing the exact set of songs they saw when they saw the band live.

One thing you mentioned during the panel was distressed tickets and how that's a gap right now. Nobody has figured out a good way to sell distressed tickets. What do you think is the future for that?
I think it's a huge opportunity. Thirty-five percent of concert tickets go unsold. Part of the reason for that is the fans didn't know about the concert in the first place. Part of the reason is the tickets were priced too high to start out with for a particular artist. In many other industries that's a solved problem.

What does Songkick do with ticketing?
We aggregate all the tickets around the world. We index about 100 ticket sites daily, from small ticket sites in Singapore to big ones in America. We pull that into one place. As a fan, you don't have to go to multiple sources, you just go to Songkick.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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