You can buy almost anything on Groupon. Food, fitness classes, spa services, and Aerosmith tickets?
The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ is using Groupon to sell tickets to an upcoming Aerosmith concert on September 3. This comes after Groupon and Live Nation signed a deal in 2011 to bring event tickets to the popular daily-deals provider. The partnership, called GrouponLive, offers fans deals on sporting events, concerts, theater shows, and other live events. GrouponLive is aimed at driving ticket sales and helping artists “to reach even larger audiences,” according to Live Nation’s CEO Michael Rapino.
Venues use Groupon as a way to advertise events to a large number of people in an effort to sell excess inventory to a show. It is in the best interest of the venue to sell out an event because venues get most of their revenue from parking, food, and beverage sales. Marketing through a company like Groupon that reaches the in-boxes of millions of subscribers every day, is an avenue to fill as many venue seats as possible.
Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster, which is part of Live Nation Entertainment, is certain that GrouponLive “adds another channel for venues and artists to offer tickets directly to fans, so it creates more options and in some cases more competition.”
Many ticket brokers do not agree with Hubbard’s point of view, and feel that listing lower prices hurts the fans that originally paid full-price for their tickets. “When [an] artist liquidates inventory on a site like Groupon, people who bought their tickets early feel like they got ripped off,” says Ticket Galaxy President, Steve Kobelski. “This just hurts everyone – fans, artists, and brokers – in the long run.”
While ticket liquidation close to the show seems to be a good idea for venues, we wonder if it is worth the disruption it can cause to eager fans that buy tickets full price. It is only time that will be able to tell us if this trend is going to become a staple in the entertainment industry or if it will fade over time.