Songkick, an online repository for concert information, has made it easier for artists to get their tour dates to a multitude of digital services like Spotify, YouTube and Vevo.
Called Tourbox, the new product allows any artist to tap directly into Songkick's database. Tourbox features a dashboard that lets artists input their concert information into Songkick and syndicates the event listings to a variety of digital services. The service also gives a widget for artists' websites and blogs that has their concert data feed.
Songkick is used by six million music fans each month and offers concert information through Songkick.com, its iOS app and such digital services as Spotify, YouTube, Vevo, Onesheet, Mobile Roadie, the Hype Machine and Songbird. The London-based startup has received funding from Index Ventures, Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital and angel investors Alex Zubillaga (former Warner Music Group executive) and Dan Porter (Ticketweb co-founder).
Songkick CEO Ian Hogarth tells Billboard.biz that while the company was focusing on improving the service's fan experience, it had received pleas from thousands of small artists asking how to get their concerts into the database. Before Tourbox, an artist could only push out those tour dates that Songkick ingested from its data partners such as ticketing companies. Now, Tourbox allows artists to take more control over their concert data and reach fans through its network of syndication partners.
Agents and managers have also sought more ownership of their artist's data on Songkick. The Windish Agency was an early beta tester and adopter, president Tom Windish says. "For many years, I've been thinking and trying to come up with a solution where we could have something a band could place on all of their different places where tour dates appear and when I switch a show in our database to 'confirmed' and the announce date comes to fruition, then the show would automatically appear on their sites."
Tourbox fits the bill. Windish says Songkick, which pulls information from Windish's database every hour, gets the best possible information for his artists because the agency has the most comprehensive information about their concerts. "Not everyone goes through Ticketmaster or Ticketfly," he says. "It could be $10 at the door or something."
The smaller bands on the Windish roster could benefit the most from Tourbox. Each of Windish's roughly 500 clients has numerous concerts and sites with concert data. But even with the small army of interns Windish has checking various sites' data, not every artist has the resources to stay on top of their concert data.
"Some of our bands don't even have management," Windish says. "They're on tour and they get these changes and they don't have a chance to do it. Not every band has WiFi in the van or even a laptop there. They're staying at a friend's house and they've got to log onto the Internet after a show and update tour dates on a website for tour hours? It doesn't happen."
Songkick will continue to absorb information from ticketing services in addition to taking data from artists and sources close to the artist such as agencies. That means fans can get more information -- set times for opening acts, for example -- but there now exists potential overlap from competing sources. But Hogarth says Songkick has taken steps to accommodate data from multiple parties.
"There are all these different interests to balance both commercially and technically," Hogarth says. "What a fan wants to see is not necessarily the way artists may think of their data. Our job is to be that reconciling force that finds the best representation for everybody."