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Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard On Groupon-Live Nation Deal

After spending an estimated $350 million to sign top music acts Madonna, Jay-Z, and U2, no one could've guessed Live Nation would be interested in giving discounts to customers. But that's exactly the focus of a new joint venture with Groupon.

Jay-Z in concert

After spending an estimated $350 million to sign top music acts Madonna, Jay-Z, and U2, no one could've guessed Live Nation would be interested in giving discounts to customers. But that's exactly the focus of a joint venture announced Monday between the company, which owns Ticketmaster, and daily deals service Groupon. The partnership, creatively dubbed GrouponLive, is aimed at driving ticket sales and helping artists "to reach even larger audiences," according to Live Nation's Michael Rapino. It will also give the events company a foot in the door of social, an area its fall behind in to startups such as EventBrite.

We caught up with Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard via email to learn more details about the company's partnership with Groupon.

Fast Company: Will each deal be for 50% or more?

Nathan Hubbard: There will be no set prices. Deals will vary and will be up to the artist and venue. This will be a collaborative effort and we'll begin testing various offers this summer.

Is this part of the new tiered pricing structure?

No, this is not related to our expanded pricing efforts including dynamic pricing. This is simply a new channel where we can tap into Groupon's enormous reach to expand our audiences—especially at the local level.

How exactly will deals be distributed? Via email? Facebook? How are these offers shared?

It works just like Groupon. Fans can sign up for local notifications at Grouponlive.com to get daily offers, or visit the site to browse current deals.

Is this more about the discount or more about sharing—that is, involving fans in the marketing of shows?

This is about creating better awareness of our shows among more casual fans. Groupon gives us a powerful and efficient local engine to reach casual fans.

How will this impact secondary markets? (i.e. ticket brokers?)

It adds another channel for venues and artists to offer tickets directly to fans, so it creates more options and in some cases more competition.

[Image: Flickr user Slippy Slappy]

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Related: Groupon, Live Nation Bet Discount Tix Will Make Fans Go Gaga With Sharing