In the race of the daily deal sites, Groupon is clearly winning, both in the metaphorical “race” sense and in the Charlie Sheen sense. And on Monday Groupon announced its latest project: GrouponLive, a team effort between Groupon and Live Nation to offer steep discounts on local live events.
Groupon is not releasing details on the service yet, other than to say that the discounts will be "deep" and that consumers can expect to find the cheapest tickets at GrouponLive. It'll be interesting to see how GrouponLive stacks up against ScoreBig, a service that lets users haggle over ticket prices by proposing lower prices (as much as 70% off or more) and seeing if the event organizers accept the rock bottom offer.
It isn’t clear whether GrouponLive will follow the typical collective buying format in which X number of buyers must purchase the deal to unlock it, but it seems likely. Merchants will likely be thrilled with the service, which will provide them with a platform for quickly and efficiently selling tickets and filling up seats.
The launch is scheduled to correspond with the summer concert season and will provide deep discounts on tickets for sports, concerts, theater, and other Live Nation events in North America. Live Nation runs the global ticketing business Ticketmaster.
"GrouponLive represents a new channel to drive value for fans, while helping artists and others to reach ever larger audiences," said Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation Entertainment, in a statement. "By adding this channel to our ticketing platform, we will also provide our venue partners with another option for driving ticket sales across a wide range of events. Our success is based on selling tickets and filling seats and GrouponLive gives us another platform to achieve this."
The move could provide Groupon with some competitive leverage against LivingSocial’s Escapes, a discounted travel service that Groupon has—until now—offered no alternative to. But none of that will make any difference if LivingSocial ends up getting into the live event space too—which it is rumored to be doing according to a recent Q&A between All Things D and LivingSocial’s VP of New Business Initiatives Doug Miller, who only hinted in April that the service will be coming soon to LivingSocial, without offering further details.
But Groupon’s Andrew Mason seems pretty confident in the competitive advantage the partnership gives Groupon: "With unprecedented access to Live Nation's expansive roster of performers and events, GrouponLive will be the destination for exclusive live event deals.” And Mason has a reason to be confident. Live Nation's Ticketmaster is one of the top five e-commerce sites in the world, with over 26 million unique visitors each month.
If LivingSocial hopes to compete, it will have to partner with an equally established and far-reaching live event service.
Image source: Grouponlive.com