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Time Out launches Groupon copycat

Time Out London has announced its entry into the group-buying phenomenon, with deals tailored for Time Out’s audience.

But is this just another copycat in an already-saturated market?

Time Out hopes that by offering London-centric deals, it will beat the competition. But thus far, it doesn’t look any different to the current group-buying platforms. Today’s deal, for example, offers 70 per cent off tickets for off-West End theatres.

“Time Out’s audience already book thousands of tickets and restaurants through our site every month launching a deals platform is a key element of our ongoing strategy,” says David Pepper, MD of Time Out Digital.

Deals likely to appear on Time Out over the coming months include:

  • Preview and discounted tickets to shows
  • Discounts on entertainment, restaurants, bars and shops
  • Savings on hotels and weekend breaks
  • Exclusive screenings and previews of films

But is this enough for Time Out London to compete against the giants that are Groupon and Living Social?

Mark Pearson, founder of MyVoucherCodes, says that Time Out could find it difficult to compete against the established big players.

For example, Groupon has had over £1bn of investment to help with its aggressive user acquisition.

“This is the biggest challenge. Users tend to go where the biggest deals are, and the biggest deals tend to be where the biggest user base is,” says Pearson. “It’s a very difficult space to enter.”

Pearson speaks from experience he launched his own group-buying platform last summer, Groupola, but eventually killed the brand, bringing the deals back under the MyVoucherCodes umbrella. Today MyVoucherCodes’ Daily Deals aggregates all the best deals (including Groupon’s) and includes unique deals of its own.

But Pearson adds that if Time Out can add something different to what’s on offer, “then they can do well”.

Time to wait and see. You can check out Time Out’s latest London deals here.


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