Differing online ad strategies could explain audience variation.
As daily deals sites continue to grow, market leaders Groupon and LivingSocial are increasingly competing for scale, traffic, and subscriber numbers. In terms of demographics, however, the properties actually appeal to substantially different audiences, it appears.
According to data from online measurement company comScore, most of Groupon's traffic in April came from users aged between 18 and 44. The majority of LivingSocial's audience, meanwhile, was aged between 25 and 55, with the 34 to 44 age range proving its strongest demographic. Compared to Groupon, LivingSocial attracted more than twice as many users over the age 45, whereas Groupon performed better with users under the age of 34.
So, what might explain the difference in audience for two firms with very similar business models and approaches to market? Factors such as the kind of deals offered and contrasting strategies around marketing messaging will contribute, of course, but comScore suggests the type of online media the companies purchase in order to acquire new subscribers could also have an effect.
For example, LivingSocial concentrated almost three quarters of its online display ad purchases to just five providers in April, tapping properties owned and operated by Google, Facebook, AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Groupon's display media choices appear far more diversified, meanwhile, with the same five providers accounting for just 31 percent of its spend over the same period, and the lion's share reserved for media on other publisher sites.
In terms of traffic, the Groupon site attracted 10.7 million unique users during April, while LivingSocial trailed with an audience of around 8.8 million.
Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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