Since launching a year ago today, live entertainment and cashless tipping app PickleJar has helped artists earn over $1.2 million. There are over 2,500 artists and creators on the platform and every penny earned through fan-funded support and transactions goes straight into their pocket.
PickleJar CEO and Founder Jeff James and President and Founder Christian Barowsky are longtime friends and business partners. The PickleJar premise met three years ago when the pair were at Nashville’s The Second Fiddle on Lower Broadway to listen to live music. When the artist walked with the Yeti Bucket to get tips, they told him they had no money. Then she pulled out her Square card reader and they paid $60 for three song orders.
“We both had a lot of questions,” James told me. “There were three people on stage. How are they going to split the tips? Where did the money go ? Will they remember our songs? Who will pay taxes on this? Will we receive a receipt? There must be a better way.’ »
Barofsky got some bar napkins and the couple started thinking about what he called the “Pickle Neighbor Project”. Initially, the app was only intended to make it easier for artists to collect and track their tips, as well as receive song requests. James and Barofsky never thought the idea would work, but when they spoke to musician friends they realized they had a revolutionary concept.
There was one thing that musicians were skeptical about: wasn’t it? really Receive 100% of their tips?
“The only way I would be willing to do that is for the artist to have 100% of the money and the artist to have 100% of their fans,” James said.
The couple got to work and created tools within the platform where artists could send messages to all their fans. There was also a non-profit component available, so if the artist wanted to donate their performance in times of crisis, they could easily give their advice and the money raised to the association or the reason of their choice.
“Suddenly you have a way to really connect fans to the music that is changing the world and becoming our driving force,” says James. “If we helped one person, we were successful and that was the motivation for what we were trying to build. »
PickleJar artists have since raised over $300,000 for charity. The company has also raised over $4 million in outside funding, thanks in part to pioneer investor Anton Rabie.
“PickleJar’s visual approach to live entertainment technology is more than just a business model – it’s a mission,” said Rabie, Spin Master Corp., co-founder and co-CEO. “I couldn’t be prouder of what the PickleJar team has accomplished, especially in such a short time.
Rabea continues, “We believe that the diversification of our long-term revenue streams is strong, with opportunities to significantly grow the member base and increase earnings per transaction. “PickleJar’s #1 artist culture remains the core theme of the leadership team poised to drive real and meaningful change in the entertainment space for musicians and content creators. »
Singer-songwriter Sasha McVeigh has witnessed this change up close. In the first three days of using PickleJar, I earned $1010. “She turned to Christian and said, ‘Oh my God, that’s my three-month rent! “We accomplished what we set out to do. We have bigger goals and bigger ideas, but we have helped the artists. So far, we’ve put hundreds of thousands of dollars in artists’ pockets. »
PickleJar has gone from being a cashless app for artists to becoming the ultimate live entertainment app for fans to connect and support their favorite artists and venues, says James. PickleJar now offers a ticketing platform for artists and venues, artist marketing, live streaming and crowdfunding capabilities.
“What I’m most proud of is how well we’ve managed to spread the word and people will listen to it, understand it and love it,” Barowsky said. “There’s been some regression in people thinking they’re above advice. However, once they see it’s more about their fans on a mission with them for a common goal, they prepare for it. »
Over the past year, PickleJar has grown from seven employees to 29 employees. The company also plans to purchase office space in Nashville this summer. PickleJar’s founders hope to have 10,000 artists on the platform within the next year, expand to 31 countries and adopt Web3. Currently, PickleJar is available in four different currencies in the US, UK, Canada, France, and Germany.
PickleJar enjoyed early support within the rural Nashville community and has since been embraced by the hip-hop, jazz, DJ and punk rock genres. “It really extends to all types, especially once you start giving them the tool to show their gratitude,” Barowsky says.
“We look at this from all angles to help the artist differentiate themselves and preserve the creative value of their entire portfolio of assets throughout their lifetime,” says James. “Ultimately, we can unleash the greatest advance in the history of human creativity since the Renaissance. You take an artist, give them the freedom to not worry about their car payments or their rent or how they’re going to eat this month and allow them to use that time to focus on their talent again and their career. I think we’d be amazed at what we’ll see produced over the next decade if we can make it happen.