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Live Nation continues e-commerce push with Lockerz investment

By Alfred Branch Jr.

Looking to capitalize on the buying power of teenagers and twentysomethings — who are sometimes referred to as Generation Z — Live Nation has invested an undisclosed amount in youth-oriented social commerce Web site Lockerz.com.

In recent months, Live Nation has made no secret of wanting to grow its e-commerce business, which are centralized at Livenation.com and through its subsidiary Ticketmaster.com. The company launched an ambitious online data analytics venture, called LiveAnalytics, with Teradata, and last year teamed with Apple to sell tickets through the consumer electronics giant's Ping service in iTunes.

"As one of the largest and most social commerce sites in the world, a major part of our strategy is to explore new avenues to blend commerce and content in revolutionary ways," Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster, said in a statement. "Lockerz is paving amazing new ground in this area and we're excited to be a part of this latest round of funding."

The members-only site allows visitors to create profiles and rack up points, or "PTZ," that they can then use to help them buy things from the site's online store, such as clothing or concert tickets. PTZ can knock down the price of items, and they are earned by watching videos, listening to music, uploading pictures or participating in various social media activities. For concerts, for example, members can use PTZ to discount tickets by as much as 99 percent.

Live Nation's move comes at a time when Ticketmaster, while still dominant, is increasingly finding itself under more competition in the ticketing industry. A host of companies have sprung up over the past decade that sell tickets through "white label" business models that better utilize search engines to attract fans, and even the secondary ticket market has significantly eaten into some of the company's market share.

With this financing deal, and its highly publicized partnership with online deals site Groupon, Live Nation (and Ticketmaster) is fighting back by trying to put their tickets in front of as many eyeballs as possible, instead of primarily waiting for fans to come to Ticketmaster.com to buy them.

While not an e-commerce deal, Ticketmaster's recent launch of ticketing kiosks in hundreds of Walmart stores around the country operates under the same mass audience principal.

Lockerz boasts about 20 million members and generates more than 45 million unique visits per month. The company has recently generated $36 million in financing and hopes to reach a total of $45 million over the next two months. Among its other investors are venture capital firm DAG Ventures and major Live Nation stockholder Liberty Media Corp.

"Lockerz' goal is to offer anything our Gen Z customers might want to buy online," a Lockerz spokesperson told Venturebeat. Among the concerts Lockerz is currently offering tickets to include Britney Spears, the Uproar Festival and Blink 182.

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