This week Live Nation and Groupon announced a partnership to move tickets. The deal is called GrouponLive. This is a major breakthrough for the concert industry. They are finally starting to get it.
How can I not like this partnership? Anyone who reads this blog knows that I constantly preach about this stuff. Instead of just papering the house, leaving the seat empty, or canceling a show, they are going to try and get some ticket revenue for the seat. Don’t forget that Live Nation runs many of the venues. Getting a customer in at a discount also means getting revenue for parking, concessions, and merch.
This matchup is closer to the marketing thinking that the live family show business has been doing for years. The live concert industry always believed it was beneath them to offer discounts, group sales or promotions. I still remember a certain manager of a very famous rock band giving me shit when I came up with a clever promotion to create exposure for his on-sale. His quote was “this ain’t a fuckin circus”. He was referencing my Ringling Bros. marketing background.
As a music fan that grew up spending lots of summer nights at an outdoor amphitheater, this could help bring that summer ritual to a new audience. When I was a teen, anyone could afford to see multiple shows at a summer shed and teens took advantage of this. Today, kids have to save the whole summer just to see one. Offering a GrouponLive coupon could fill those lawn seats once again.
This deal is probably a better deal for Live Nation then Groupon. Yes, Groupon will move tickets with their 60 million subscribers, which will bring them new revenue. For Live Nation, they get to market to 60 million subscribers and fill those empty seats. As Michael Rapino CEO of Live Nation said “finding ways to deliver the message to local email in-boxes is the way of the future.”
I believe this is a shot in the arm that Live Nation needs save the 2011 summer season and maybe even the company.