The Beat Goes On At Songkick

By November 29, 2011

Sonkick Founders: Pete Smith (Product Development), Michelle You (COO), and Ian Hogarth (CEO)

Tired of missing the latest gigs? Sick of being the one who reads about them on Facebook or in a paper the next morning?

So were the founders of Songkick, a startup created out of the realization that to be kept up to date about live music acts you either need to trawl dozens of bands’ sites while signing up for newsletters or you can collect all that information in one place so you never miss a gig.

Songkick collates information from hundreds of box offices, bands and artists worldwide and delivers them to the user so they can instantly be shown what’s happening in their area and follow their favorite artists.

Based in London, co-founders Ian Hogarth (CEO), Michelle You (COO) and Pete Smith (Product Development) set about creating the platform in 2007. Graduates of Y Combinator, they raised funding from Index Ventures and are based in Tech City UKwith a staff of 28.

I spoke to veteran of Silicon Valley (and former Googler) CTO Dan Crow about how they got where they are and where they go from here.

Songkick’s viability depends on creating a large user-base. “That started early 2010,” Crow said. “These last 2 years to 18 months we are seeing an upward surge in our users.”

‘Surge’ isn’t an overstatement either; SongKick is now  trails behind TicketMaster as the second largest ticket sales and distribution site in the world. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the SongKick iTunes App saw 100,000 downloads within the first 10 days.

Despite being based in London (with a small office in San Francisco), the company draws 25% of its users from the UK. 50% are from North America and 25% from a range of other countries. How did they achieved such robust growth rates in a short amount of time?

“We frequently survey our customers,” Crow told me. “Surveys are increasingly showing us that a year after signing up, users are going to 70% more live gigs.”

Like Paypal’s early relationship with Visa, Mastercard and the other card services companies it can also work alongside Ticketmaster which allows Songkick to sell seats to shows.