On the Call: Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino (yup, that's what it says)

photo oflivenation - On the Call: Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino

On the Call: Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino


Live Nation Entertainment Inc. Michael Rapino says the company is taking a more focused approach when concert-ticket sales are weak unlike in 2010, when had to resort to fire-sale discounts.

Now, when a tour date's sales are soft, it resorts to Groupon Live, which he says gives a "rifle shot" solution to sluggish sales in certain markets.

The partnership between coupon site Groupon and Live Nation kicked into high gear in June and July, when it sold 600,000 tickets, of which 422,000 were sold to events put on by Live Nation or its Ticketmaster subsidiary.

That helped earnings in the three months through June, when Live Nation said concert attendance was up 6 percent at 13 million worldwide.

QUESTION: Can you talk a little bit more about how Groupon is working?

RESPONSE: (Rapino) We just launched, as you know, in the second quarter, Groupon Live. We have, as I said, over 1,200 offers, which is kind of the same way of looking at the dynamic pricing adoption strategy. There was a time when you wouldn't think you'd get 1,200 different artists, concerts or sports teams that would sign up to this kind of value model. But it's been a very easy sale throughout the entire concert business and sports business. It's very targeted, so we're able to take a show or a sporting event in an exact city that maybe needs a little extra help and nail, kind of, a rifle shot to Baltimore for a certain shot ... (We) sold over 400,000 tickets in the last few months.

Groupon Live, in general, is kind of a branded start place in general, where Groupon puts all of their tickets, whether we bring them from Live Nation or Ticketmaster, or other sports and theater and music companies bring tickets. They all end up at Groupon Live, so we've, we believe, built a destination within Groupon that says this is the place to go look for tickets. Overall, that entire business had a very robust June and July. I'm sure it's the market leader by far right now in terms of the total amount of tickets that would be placed on there. We sold 422,000 tickets and there was close to 600,000 tickets sold in total for Groupon Live in that same period. So we're very pleased with this progress. We think it's been used very effectively by our entire business to tackle that problem market or problem show in a very focused manner.


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