Talked to Howard Brooks yesterday. He's a sharp dude who gets the music biz and new media. There aren't too many music biz people that do. And there aren't that many new media peeps that understand the complexities of the music biz.
I want to be able to learn about shows and buy concert tickets from my iTunes playlist, or while I am listening to Rhapsody or Last.fm. I want my favorite shows to automatically show up in my outlook calander. A Ticketmaster API would enable all these features and more. Check out tourb.us or sonicliving to see the possibilities.
Somebody at TM is paying attention. Howard sent me a link to this last night:
In about an hour, we hear, iLike and TicketMaster will announce a strategic agreement that includes a $13.3 million investment in iLike for 25% of the company.
That puts the value of iLike at a whopping $53.2 million. The company launched less than two months ago, on October 25.
We love the iLike service, which provides an excellent iTunes plugin that constantly analyzes what music you listen to and recommends new stuff. But what I don’t want to see is a “buy tickets” button next to each artist, effectively turning iTunes into a billboard. It’s not clear that’s what the companies intend to do, though. All they are saying now is that the agreement will “enable iLike to extend its reach while enabling Ticketmaster to engage consumers with deeply-integrated music and event discovery services intended to drive ticket sales.”
I wasn't so far off:
And if I had to bet, I'd guess that startups will be the ones to do it. Of course, if history has any precedence, TM will buy the companies that pose any threat to it.
I can't believe TM only got 25% for $13.3M. There must have been strategic reasons to let GarageBand keep a big stake in the company. TM could have bought a number of startups playing in this space for that much cash. Actually: much less.
Actually, all they have to do is create an API and an affiliate program. An affiliate program would make the secondary market much less efficient too. Which is the real pain in Ticketmaster's side.
Update: more here.