SeatGeek Builds Rock Star Graph?

Curtis Chen
Sep. 20 2012, 08:45AM EDT

How does the Web's largest ticket search engine improve its API? By giving developers easy access to more information, of course. SeatGeek recently made links to artists' Spotify and Last.fm profiles available through the SeatGeek API, and the company promises even more data in the future.

Founded in 2009, SeatGeek started out with sports tickets but quickly expanded to include concerts and other events. The site aggregates listings from secondary ticket markets like StubHub, eBay, and TicketsNow, and analyzes the data to highlight the best deals. The SeatGeek API offers developers access to a "comprehensive directory of live events in the United States and Canada," which now includes performer links.

SeatGeek's API documentation tells the story: once you know a performer's unique ID number, you can query for "links" to that performer's information on other sites. At the moment, only Spotify and Last.fm links are available, but it's not difficult to imagine seeing artists' SoundCloud, Twitter, or Facebook profiles added soon.

SeatGeek co-founder Jack Groetzinger encourages developers to make use of this performer data. "If a developer were using the SeatGeek API to populate their site with a list of artists, they could also include links to the artists' third party profiles," he says. "Or if a developer had a Spotify app and wanted to pull in events for artists in the app, they could use the SeatGeek API to link together artists on Spotify and the shows they're playing." Since musicians don't tend to perform on a regular schedule--unlike sports teams--this kind of integration could make it much easier for fans to keep track of their favorite artists' tour dates.

This particular API update is not too surprising, given that SeatGeek launched an "event discovery engine" using Last.fm's API in 2011, and released a Spotify app this summer. Both of those services looked at a user's musical interests and attempted to predict which events they might want tickets for. SeatGeek has also declared its intentions to build "a really great mobile app," which likely means offering even more data through its API.

Groetzinger says, "Our long-term goal with this is to make the SeatGeek API the canonical source of all artists' identity links on the Internet." Sounds like they're swinging for the fences.

Curtis Chen Once a software engineer in Silicon Valley; now a science fiction writer and puzzle hunt maker near Portland, Oregon. You may have seen his "Cat Feeding Robot" Ignite presentation. Curtis is not an aardvark.

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