Groupon gets into the concert ticket business


The ailing concert ticket industry is coming up new ways to sell tickets that could bring prices back down out of the stratosphere if you’re looking for some summer entertainment.

The concert business in the United States is in the toilet. The industry is having trouble selling tickets, and it’s been a great embarrassment to the performers who used to sell out the house in recent years and now are playing to maybe only every other seat. There are many reasons why this is happening. But the key thing to know is you’re at an advantage now that the industry is realizing it has a pricing problem!

You’ll be seeing more experimentation with ticket pricing in the near future. The latest effort comes from Groupon, which will soon launch a joint venture with Live Nation called Groupon Live. This summer, Groupon Live promises tickets to concerts at special rates online.

Go to, put in your e-mail address and city name and they will subscribe you to this service that’s expected to launch over the next few weeks. It’s still too early to know if tickets will be strictly half-price or not. (But you can get $10 to spend on Groupon every time you tell a friend about this new service or Groupon’s traditional service.)

In addition, more and more venues will begin selling tickets across what they call “a wider bucket.” Historically, there wasn’t a tremendous difference between the prices you’d pay for the worst to the best seat in the house. But there will be when you spread out the bucket. For example, the tickets way in the back for a given act, maybe with a partial view, could be $10, while the seats closest to the stage may be $500 or $1,000 (when they used to be $150.)

Sports teams really set the pattern with widening the bucket. They adopted variable pricing models that made it possible for people who couldn’t afford to see their favorite teams to do so, like families with kids that each needed their own ticket. By spreading out the bucket, they made it possible for families to come again.

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