We’ve pretty extensively covered the opportunities Groupon offers the music industry in the touring and ticketing space. But as the holiday sales season approaches we’re now starting to see some examples of Groupon being used to sell recorded music as well.

The Chicago-based startup is kicking off its holiday “Grouponicus” promotional deal initiative with Rihanna’s album “Loud.” Through Groupon, a digital download of the album is available for $5, half off the full price. Groupon is also e-mailing its millions of subscribers with a link to the offer, as well as promoting it on Facebook, Twitter and on the Groupon website.

Groupon is an e-tailing discount service that offers subscribers daily discounts on all manner of goods and services focused on local markets. It operates worldwide in more than 230 markets, including 85 in the U.S., and claims more than 13 million users. The Grouponicus store opened Nov. 22 as a holiday-themed package of special deals.

This is the first time Groupon has added discounted recorded music. While discounted albums are not new (see Amazon’s deep price-cutting practices), Groupon is a phenomenon that has attracted significant attention due to its unique use of social marketing and crowdsourcing. It’s a red-hot startup everybody is watching, and Google is rumored to be mulling an acquisition of the service.

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