When concert promoters are unable to persuade people to buy tickets to see the concerts they are promoting and shows go on with many empty seats, it is a huge problem for them on multiple levels. For one, they will have trouble convincing any future venues to take on the artist — how can they know if they will lose money on the artist or not when their past experience tells them the artist is a bad investment? It also reflects badly on them as a promoter — they couldn’t generate interest? Other artists will shy away from them.
Enter Groupon — a portmanteau of the words group and coupon. The kick of Groupon is that it gets a group of people to all agree to a good deal that won’t happen unless a minimum number of people agree to it. As an example, a bakery might offer a fifty dollar gift card for twenty five dollars so long as five hundred people agree to get it. The bakery wins out because they just got five hundred people to agree to either be customers — and how often do we really spend only the exact amount of the gift card? It adds up to good business for the companies with which Groupon deals.
Both Rihanna and Brittany Spears have employed use of Groupon — well, their promoters did, anyway. For the promoter it is a tremendous boon — they know that the tickets will be snatched up by fans who might not have the wherewithal to pay for the full cost of the ticket — especially in this ailing economy with jobs being exported overseas at a sadly great rate.
I can see how the artists might not like being part of these deals — it may be less than impressive thinking people only came to your performance because they got a good deal. Moreover, imagine the way the person must feel in the audience if he were aware that people around him may have gotten similar seats for much less money — I know I would be a little bummed and wondering how I could have gotten a deal like that. That may lead to more people holding out for bargain ticket offers which in the long run would not be good for anyone — other than cash strapped fans.
I can see how Groupon would have limited appeal in that some more popular artists would never consider using them — The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, to name but a couple. It is useful to some, however, and we fans who save certainly do appreciate it.