SFX Entertainment has purchased Listn, a combination streaming/aggregation and social networking app, and will immediately shut the app down by the end of the month, according to a blog post by Listn’s founder and CEO Mike Schmidt.
In a piece by Michael Carney for Pando Daily, Schmidt characterizes the purchase as a “seven-figure” deal and announced that Listn’s five employees will be added to the staff at the SFX-owned Beatport.
Since its purchase of Beatport in February 2013, SFX’s quarterly reports have marked Beatport as the centerpiece of one of the company’s operating segments they dub the “Platform”. SFX’s latest 10-Q report describes the “Platform” as SFX’s “365-day per year engagement with the Company’s fans outside of live events, and currently includes sales of digital music, ticketing fees and commissions, digital marketing, and other platform-supporting businesses.”
Listn (or rather its team and technology) was purchased for the “Platform” audience-engagement segment of SFX, possibly anticipating a future in which the sale of digital music is no longer a sustainable business. Listn claimed some 400,000 registered users for their service which linked up people’s Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, YouTube accounts and private music libraries (though, oddly, there seems to be no discernible outcry on the internet from their userbase after the shutdown was announced).
Carney speculates that the purchase of Listn suggests that Beatport will become “a lot more like SoundCloud.” It should be pointed out, however, that SoundCloud is not currently profitable and has no plan in place which sees it becoming profitable in the future. Beatport as a quasi-streaming service may represent “a SoundCloud with a store in the back” – though with digital music sales plummeting, it’s uncertain if such a service could capture enough of the market from Spotify and other established streaming services (including SoundCloud itself).
One year after its IPO at $13 per share, SFX’s stock price is currently trading at around $5.50, a loss of nearly 58% of its value to date.
Photo via getlistn.com