Tribeca Case-Study: 50X more users with Rownd!

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Background: The Tribeca film festival is huge!

The Tribeca film festival brings over 150,000 festival attendees to NYC for its week-long event and 2-3 times more will visit their website, buy virtual tickets, and engage with their other e-properties. The festival is a part of the social and cultural fabric of New York and is regarded as one of the premier film festivals in the world. Tribeca came to Rownd when they needed to radically change their onboarding flow and Rownd delivered.

Tribeca Film Festival overhauled its entire auth strategy with Rownd

The Problem: Authentication was costing Tribeca revenue

Authentication, like for most apps and websites, was a necessary evil that often stood between users and interacting with key parts of the website. For example, if a user wanted to “like” a film for later, they’d have to create an account first, but the process to “sign up” was a different flow. If someone signed up for a newsletter, they would have to select from a list of 9 different topics and if they wanted to add one later, there was no way to authenticate them to update their preferences. And their ticket process was separate from their website, meaning tens of thousands of new users would not be captured in the Tribeca databases and website.

Their funnel had some bottlenecks

  • Bottleneck 1: Signup Apprehension. A vast majority of visitors (>99%) did not create an account. The key to convincing a customer to even click on the “sign up” call to action is to show them the value they will get.
  • Bottleneck 2: Profile creation. Getting customers to fill out personal data is a cost that requires simple, logical connections to the benefit they will receive when they are done.
  • Bottleneck 3: Transitions. Tribeca uses a great third-party ticket vendor that makes buying tickets really easy. The downside is that it is separate from the main website. The movement of the data from the ticket page to the main site to create a profile was impossible.

Rownd has been an amazing parter that changed how our site works and radically changed our strategy.

Marc Hayes

Solution: Rownd

Enter Rownd! Rownd is a flexible authentication and account creation solution that lets businesses decide how and where auth happens. In the case of Tribeca, the key is to eliminate those bottlenecks that made authentication so difficult

Solution 1: Dynamic sign-up. Instead of having users just “sign up” for the app, they are signed up by doing normal tasks, buying tickets, joining the newsletter, liking and favoriting movies. There is no expectation or even call to action to sign up or sign in, it just happens seamlessly.

Solution 2: Progressive profile. As the user traverses the website, ticket page, news, fimls, and set their preferences or answers questions, their profile is being created.

Solution 3: Cross-domain authentication. Rownd can move users safely and securely between domains and apps without the need to re-login. So, when a customer buys a ticket at Tribeca, their shopping cart data becomes their user profile and when they go back to, they are already logged in. All this is done without cookies.

Solution 4: Auth gating. For most of the Tribeca website, the user does not have to be logged in. But there is a huge exception: The My Tickets button. Traditionally, the app would have to be either 100% authenticated or 0% authenticated, but Rownd makes it simple to add a “gate” around the tickets, so a user can just verify their email and then instantly see their tickets (the app calls a third party ticket vendor).

Only Rownd: Why cross-domain login matters

One of the biggest improvements at Tribeca is the addition of the “My Tickets” button. This was impossible prior to Rownd because their signup/login process was a bottleneck and the ticket data was separate from their main app. Rownd tied it all together through auth gating and dynamic login.

The Results: 10s of thousands of new users

Through this process, Rownd was amazed at how many new users were being added to Tribeca through Rownd. During the opening few hours of the individual sales, Rownd was being hit with 10K users per minute (250K+ total over 8 hours). This not only proved that Rownd can withstand the onslaught at scale, but the fact that over 25K new users have been added (the highest weekly increase ever), shows how Rownd can grow users and create delightful value-added experiences.