Kiwi duo mastermind event-ticketing revolution
Jared Kristensen and Jason MacLulich never set out to be event kingmakers. But a chance meeting in 2015 changed their lives. Now, they’re the ones changing the way event tickets all around the world are being sold. 27-year-old Kristensen, from Auckland, is a former concert and music promoter. MacLulich, 37, from Palmerston North, has […]
Jared Kristensen and Jason MacLulich never set out to be event kingmakers. But a chance meeting in 2015 changed their lives. Now, they’re the ones changing the way event tickets all around the world are being sold.
27-year-old Kristensen, from Auckland, is a former concert and music promoter. MacLulich, 37, from Palmerston North, has spent that past years developing high-end tech for emerging start-ups.
Together they’ve built Audience Republic, an online platform that helps event organisers increase ticket sales. Having just raised $525,000 in seed investment, the Kiwi duo is forging ahead with accelerated customer acquisition and product development.
Formerly known as Ticket Squad, Audience Republic is a SaaS platform that helps increase ticket sales for events. Event organisers pay to use the platform to create online campaigns that drive increased ticket sales to their existing ticketing providers, such as Ticketek, Ticketmaster or Eventbrite.
More than $2 million worth of ticket sales from tens of thousands of event goers have been delivered by Audience Republic to organisers to date. It’s worked across New Zealand and Australia boosting ticket sales for: Electric Gardens, Pitch Festival, Days Like This and Rhythm & Vines. It’s also been used on concerts for Sticky Fingers, Broods and Rufus. It’s also helped with ticket sales for conferences and special events.
“The simple fact is that more than 85 percent of events don’t sell out,” says Audience Republic CEO and co-founder, Jared Kristensen.
“And with the live events sector being worth $100 billion globally, it’s a huge opportunity for us. We’re very much focused on being a global business.”
In order to increase event ticket sales, Audience Republic’s campaigns leverage social media and rewards – such as access to exclusive tickets, discounts, and prizes – to gamify the process of a ticket-buyer inviting friends to purchase tickets too.
The more friends a user refers who buy tickets, and the more social follows they complete, the more points the user gets and the better chance they have to get rewarded. Through the process, event organisers collect data, including their music tastes, so they can learn more about the people who buy tickets to their event. Platforms supported include Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Spotify and SoundCloud.
On average, Audience Republic says it’s delivered a 76 percent uplift in pre-sale registrations for events, with 203 percent being its record – achieved through the virility of social shares.
For event promoters, Kristensen says the data it can provide is invaluable. “With data collected through Audience Republic, promoters will be able to meet the people behind their ticket sales.
“We deliver insights like their highest spending, most loyal, and most influential customers. And at a broader level, we provide insights around age, gender and location, as well as interests, preferences and music listening history.”
As a former promoter, Kristensen says a key insight he learned was that if people knew their friends were attending an event, they were 10 times more likely to buy a ticket. “And that’s the foundation our platform is built on: leveraging the power of small groups.”
He adds that he started Audience Republic because as a former event promoter he knew first hand just how difficult it could be to sell tickets.
“For me personally, there was one event where I lost $20,000 in one night because I just didn’t sell enough tickets, and that was the key light-bulb moment for me,” Kristensen says.
“The industry as a whole was getting much more sophisticated: in ticketing, lighting, audio and everything else. But marketing was still lagging behind. While there were lots of great ticketing platforms, what struck me was that there wasn’t a dedicated product to help with event marketing. That’s where Audience Republic comes in.”
The seed round announcement comes as the company rebrands its platform, relaunching under the new name Audience Republic. The new name takes into consideration the evolution of the platform and expanded vision beyond just events, says Kristensen.
“We’re seeing some fascinating ways customers have been using the platform beyond events in a way that we hadn’t originally expected, including by some major consumer brands who have used us for campaigns. We’re really excited to be exploring this further,” he says.
“The vision is for Audience Republic to power the marketing for all major events globally, within music, but also across sport, conferences and theatre.”
Prior to Audience Republic, Kristensen worked for ASX-listed Flamingo as head of marketing, and for a startup called OneSaas. His start in the event industry began at 15, pushing boxes and setting up lighting equipment for events like the Big Day Out and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“I worked my way up to running my own company at 18, which produced a number of electronic music events, with international artists like music producer Boys Noize, DJs The Bloody Beetroots and musical duo MSTRKRFT.”
Kristensen’s co-founder Jason MacLulich was a former CTO of GoCatch and founder of The Medic, a secure video conferencing service for doctors, which was acquired in 2016. MacLulich met Kristensen through the Slingshot accelerator program, which both Audience Republic and The Medic went through. Both men now call Sydney home but spend a lot of time each year working across New Zealand.