Q’s With Audience Republic CEO Jared Kristensen: ‘Build, Reach & Sell To An Audience You Own’

Audience Republic co-founders:
Courtesy of Audience Republic
– Audience Republic co-founders:
CEO Jared Kristensen (left) and CTO Jason MacLulich.

Australian company Audience Republic, with additional offices in Los Angeles, CA, and London, England, describes itself as a marketing platform designed specifically for promoters, festivals, venues and artists, enabling them to use their fan data to sell more tickets, merchandise, albums and more.

One of its co-founders and CEO is Jared Kristensen, who started out as a promoter back in 2009. His first show with The Bloody Beetroots completely sold out, the second event lost him $20,000.
“Every promoter has a similar story,” says Kristensen, which is why he wanted to find a way to “help reduce the risk, future proof their ticket sales, reduce the spend on paid ads and reduce some of their stress levels by saving time.”  
He founded Audience Republic alongside CTO Jason MacLulich in 2017. The company’s “secret weapon” is a presale registration platform rewarding fans for referring their friends. But there’s more to it, as Kristensen told Pollstar.
Pollstar: How do event promoters lose access to the fans due to social media algorithms shifting? And how does Audience Republic alleviate that situation?
Jared Kristensen: It all started in 2018 with the infamous Facebook algorithm change. Since then promoters and artists have seen organic reach continue to diminish. At the same time they’ve seen costs for paid advertising skyrocket, resulting in increased costs for promoters and artists to sell tickets.
In many ways, event promoters and artists have become over-reliant on Facebook and Instagram to sell tickets – which is a massive risk. If these platforms disappeared tomorrow, what would happen to their ticket sales? Audience Republic solves this problem for promoters and artists, by helping them build up and reach an audience they own. This means they’re less reliant on third-party platforms like Facebook and Instagram to sell tickets. 
Pollstar: How does Audience Republic help sell more tickets?
There are two ways we achieve this: The first is through our Campaigns Platform, which is all about helping sell more tickets through increasing word-of-mouth and building an audience you own. We have a number of types of campaigns, including Presale Registrations, Competitions and Wait Lists. The process is gamified, where fans are rewarded with points to share, invite friends, and complete additional actions, with the top point scorers getting rewards. 
The second is our Fan CRM, which allows promoters, festivals and artists to sync their audience data from platforms they use across ticketing, e-commerce, membership and e-commerce. But more importantly use the audience data to help them sell more (ensuring this is done in compliance with GDPR). This is done using our all-in-one messaging platform across email marketing, text and Facebook Messenger. We also have advertising integrations so they can automatically sync their segments to run ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Audience Republic's pre-sale platform.
Courtesy of Audience Republic
– Audience Republic’s pre-sale platform.
Fans receive points for referring their friends.

Pollstar: In what ways are email marketing platform, text messaging platform, and advertising network integrations tailored for promoters and artists? Do you have staff working on that?

All our products are specifically designed for event promoters and artists, and we have a team of 12 software engineers working on this every day. Here are some of the ways we do this:
Integrations: As a promoter, you connect the ticketing platforms you use, allowing you to sync your previous and future events, ticket sales, orders and customers. Then you have a directory of your events across the ticketing platforms you use.
Segments: You can then segment people based on their ticket purchase history, including how much they’ve spent, what events they’ve been to, and how loyal they’ve been as a customer. You can also create more advanced segments like everyone who has signed up for presale access, but has not purchased a ticket. Or purchased tickets to last years event, but not this year.
Email templates: We also have a whole library of templates specifically designed for promoters, festivals, venues and artists – including tour announcements, presales, pre-event emails, post event emails and upsells.
Advertising: Currently promoters are regularly uploading csv files to build their custom audiences after manually exporting data from ticketing platforms and creating segments in excel. We automatically sync their segments to Facebook and Instagram each time a sale is made through their ticketing platform, saving a lot of manual work.
Pollstar: You’ve described your presale campaign platform as your “secret weapon”. How does it work?
Before tickets go on sale, fans sign up for presale access through the registration link shared by the promoter or artist. Fans earn points for referring friends to sign up for presale access via Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs, WhatsApp, and other platforms, subscribe to receive text messages and email, as well as complete other actions. The top point scorers are rewarded with prizes that include money-can’t-buy experiences such as VIP and side-of-stage access, backstage passes, and meet and greets with headline artists.
It’s like pouring gasoline on the fire: in many cases we’ve seen double or triple the number of total presale registrations, as a result of the referrals from our platform. The real secret though, is that it’s not just about selling more presale tickets. It’s about leveraging the presale announcement to build up a massive audience that they own. 
So, of course it helps them to sell more presale tickets, but more importantly it helps them sell the remainder of the general onsale. And with the increased word-of-mouth, we help generate and gauge demand for additional dates. That way, they can announce and sell out future shows, literally just by sending an email or a text message. And of course, they can then use that audience data to drive ticket sales for events for years to come.
Pollstar: How does Audience Republic reduce the risk of selling tickets for event promoters and artists?
By reducing their reliance on third party platforms like Facebook and Instagram.  We know that they are over reliant on these platforms to drive sales. And if these platforms disappear tomorrow, what’s going to happen to their ticket sales? So, by helping them own their audience, they can reach their audience directly – helping them future proof their ticket sales and reduce their paid advertising costs. 
In addition, our Presale Registration is all about increasing word of mouth, by rewarding fans for referring their friends. We find that being invited to an event from a friend, not just increases ticket sales, but also gets people buying tickets earlier. That reduces risk because ticket sales are locked away.