The runaway success of daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social, which focus on a wide range of local deals at deep discounts, has spawned a mini-industry of copycats and niche services including some focused on music. While copycats of hot web properties are eventually sorted out with most falling by the wayside, niche sites can find success if they serve their niches well. Here are a handful of music related deal sites and services with some thoughts on their potential success:
GrouponLive, the love child of Groupon and Live Nation, is not launching till this summer but has already gotten quite a lot of press. Of course, any deal between the leaders in two industries will get attention and the future success of this endeavor will depend on whether or not the deals are good enough to get folks buying tickets to what will most likely be otherwise undersold events.
Ticketmaster's CEO Nathan Hubbard recently stated that "there will be no set prices" for deals which suggests that the deep discount established in people's minds by daily deal sites will not be a consistent feature of the service. And that will be a problem for any deal site launching in the wake of Groupon and Living Social because that's what folks now expect.
RCRD DEALS is a new offering from the combined force of RCRD LBL and Topspin offering "flash deals" on merch bundles and "experiences", i.e. tickets and backstage type experiences. They are currently being offered on a weekly basis and seem more focused on cool stuff than on discounts. So you can currently get a DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist combo Juke Bot Toy Figurine and Juke Bot USB with multiple concert recordings but it's about exclusivity and uniqueness as opposed to a discount.
I really like these companies and think this could work but calling it RCRD DEALS casts it in the wrong light given that it doesn't follow the current daily deal model. Success will depend initially on matching the offerings to RCRD LBL's huge following but they're a strong team so they definitely have a shot.
1band1brand is an interesting pairing of music and fashion with weekly deals on music releases and clothing. This week's deal features a name your own price five song sampler from Athens' Dead Confederate and 15% off clothing from Nashville's Imogene + Willie.
This seems like a really interesting marketing platform that needs to stay out of the daily deal shadow to succeed. To their credit, unlike RCRD DEALS, they don't seem to be branding themselves in a potentially confusing manner.
Hello Music, which helps connect musicians to useful services, now offers daily deals on music equipment at a deep discount. This is the currently in vogue daily deal concept except that they also offer returns for a full year avoiding the current downside of the daily deal business model in which you have to use it or resell it to get your value out of the deal.
I don't know the music equipment terrain at all so I don't know how exceptional these deals are in the age of Amazon but this looks like a real winner that will also draw musicians into using the Hello Music platform.
Other services worth noting that offer either special deals or limited edition music bundles includes Sony Music's Pop Market and Rhino's Rhino Handmade, which focus on deluxe editions and merch bundles from established acts, and groopEase, which is still in invitation-only mode and will feature deep discounts on emerging artists. On the music gear front, Stupid Deal of the Day from Musician's Friend seems to have the pricing right.