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Linkfire buys SmartURL in smart-links consolidation move

Smart-links and music marketing firm Linkfire went public in June with a listing in Stockholm. Now it’s making a bold expansion move by acquiring one of its main rivals, SmartURL.

The latter is the US firm, based in Boston, which has been working with artists and other clients since 2011.

“They started years before us, they’ve kind of pioneered this industry,” Linkfire CEO Lars Ettrup told Music Ally, in an interview for our Music Ally Focus podcast which has been released today.

“They started this smart linking kind of space… Really what we’re looking for here is someone that is interested in building a bigger play to service labels and artists at a much greater scale.”

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Linkfire goes public as planned with Swedish listing

We reported on music marketing firm Linkfire’s plans for a public listing earlier this month, but now it’s gone ahead and done it.

“We are now a publicly traded company listed on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market in Stockholm, Sweden,” announced Linkfire in an email to industry contacts. “To be a listed company is a proof of quality for Linkfire. This will play a huge role in supporting our business as we continue expanding, innovating, and enhancing our technology for customers and partners across the globe.”

The listing also saw Linkfire publish its annual report for 2020 and an interim report for the first quarter of 2021, offering more detail on its smart-links business.

The company’s revenues grew by 43% to DKK 24.7m (around $4m) last year, but it recorded an operating loss of DKK 14.2m ($2.3m), partly due to staff costs amounting to 82.8% of its revenue.

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Linkfire’s latest attribution data deal is with YouTube Music

Music marketing platform Linkfire has announced its latest data deal, with YouTube Music. “In addition to seeing how many of your link visitors click through to YouTube and YouTube Music, you’ll be able to see how those clicks translate into streams on the platforms,” promised the company.

It makes YouTube the latest service to sign on for Linkfire’s ‘attribution’ data drive, alongside Apple Music, Deezer, Pandora, Anghami and Boomplay among others.

Which, as sharp readers will have already spotted, leaves Spotify and Amazon Music as two of the remaining unchecked boxes on Linkfire’s to-do list.

The company has been pushing for these deals for some time, to give labels more useful data from the smart-links they use for marketing.

In October 2019, CEO Lars Ettrup told our Sandbox Summit conference that Linkfire would be able to attribute 50% of its traffic within six months, adding that “the goal of achieving 100% attribution is feasible in the very near future”.

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Sandbox Issue 255: K-Pop. What the Global Music Industry can learn from South Korea

Lead: K-pop is eating the world whole and is changing what marketing – especially superfan-centric marketing – can do. We speak to those working in and around the K-pop world to learn how the genre markets itself, where its acts engage with their fans to build incredible levels of loyalty, why trans-media marketing underscores everything they do […]

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Linkfire’s latest streaming data partnership is with Deezer

Music marketing firm Linkfire has announced a deal with Deezer to access data on what music listeners do after following one of its ‘smart links’ to the streaming service.

Artists, labels and marketers using Linkfire will now be able to see, for example, whether fans have gone on to play a song, add it to their library or to one of their playlists on Deezer.

It’s the latest such ‘attribution’ or ‘conversion’ data partnership for the company, tackling the longstanding problem of understanding how clicks/taps on smart links translate into streams and other fan actions: data that helps to judge whether marketing budget has been well spent or not.