May 27, 2024

Media Decoder: Live Nation Teams Up With Groupon Amid Worries About Concert Season

Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s biggest concert promoter, is teaming with the popular coupon site Groupon to sell discounted tickets.

The companies announced on Monday that they had formed a joint venture, GrouponLive, which, like Groupon, will offer consumers discounts on tickets for limited periods of time. GrouponLive is to become operational “in time for the summer concert season,” the companies announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For Live Nation, the arrangement could be a convenient way to help fill up its amphitheaters and sidestep criticism. Last year, with concert attendance off by 9.4 percent, some shows in its amphitheaters — a major part of its summer touring business — were canceled, and at others employees in sandwich signs sold tickets at fire-sale prices. That heavy discounting was criticized by many artist managers, who felt that steep discounts at the door seemed to devalue their artists.

“Our success is based on selling tickets and filling seats and GrouponLive gives us another platform to achieve this,” Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

In the usual economics of a concert tour, most of the face value of a ticket goes to the artists, and the promoter makes its profit on ancillaries like parking and concessions. Live Nation owns or controls 48 amphitheaters in North America.

Groupon, founded in 2008, is said to be planning an initial public offering that would value the company at $15 billion or more.

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