SBD/May 10, 2011/Finance

Love Seat: Groupon, Live Nation Team To Create New Online Ticket Marketplace

Groupon and Live Nation Entertainment yesterday announced that they have formed a joint venture to develop a new online ticketing marketplace, GrouponLive. The new channel will serve as a local resource for Live Nation events, including sports games and concerts, as well as for clients of Live Nation’s global ticket business, Ticketmaster (Groupon). In L.A., Pham & Wong note Live Nation and Groupon are “hoping to boost concert attendance in a hobbled economy." GrouponLive, expected to launch in June, is "aimed at easing both the perennial problem of filling empty seats at concerts and sporting events.” Groupon and Live Nation hope to "attract bigger crowds by offering discounts to events for which demand may be soft.” Live Nation President & CEO Michael Rapino said, "There will be consumers who will wake up each morning and go to GrouponLive who otherwise wouldn't have heard of the event. This incremental sale from new consumers will outweigh any cannibalization that could occur. This is about volume. The more tickets we sell, the more everybody makes." Pham & Wong write the venture is “both novel and risky in that the sporting and concerts industries historically are loath to offer discounts for fear of alienating avid fans who wait in line and pay full price for their tickets” (L.A. TIMES, 5/10). In N.Y., Garett Sloane notes users “will have to opt in to receive the event notices, and the deals will blast out locally as with any Groupon offer.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, "such as whether Chicago-based Groupon will get its usual 50 percent cut of sales” (N.Y. POST, 5/10).
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