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Nerve -- The First Banking App Created For Musicians -- To Launch September 15thRead More
Nerve is a revolutionary mobile app that merges user experience and financial technologies to help musicians build sustainable careers. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, it was co-founded by financial technology innovators CEO John Waupsh and CTO Ben Morrison. The innovative subscription platform offers greater business and financial transparency to musicians than other music streaming services, while providing musicians with the tools they need to thrive in their businesses. Nerve is comprised of two primary elements: the Nerve FM music streaming platform; and the revolutionary Nerve financial tools designed specifically for musicians.
Nerve FM is a streaming music platform that enables artists to communicate with and market directly to their fan base, creating recurring revenue in the process via monthly subscriptions. With Nerve FM, creators keep up to 80 percent of the revenue generated from their subscriber base, and they keep all the data generated by that revenue as well. Nerve FM users can easily share a percentage of their revenue with nonprofits or foundations of their choice, and even borrow against income interest free. In addition, Nerve FM has a built-in e-commerce platform that allows artists to sell physical media, merch and more.
Catering primarily to independent artists and established musicians who own the rights to their music, Nerve FM allows users to create a channel where they can securely stream audio or video content including albums, singles, demos, podcasts, music videos and live performances to create recurring revenue. Fans can subscribe to their channel for $5 a month, or upgrade to a Premium subscription for $10 a month, giving them access to every artist channel on the Nerve FM platform. Nerve FM also offers record labels and music festivals the ability to create channels and share streaming audio and video content.
Nerve offers a multitude of financial services and customized tools to help musicians manage their finances, including tracking touring revenue and expenses, streaming royalties and merchandise sales. It’s a neobank that allows musicians to take out loans for touring and other business needs, and even plan for retirement through 401k contributions. Nerve business checking accounts have no monthly fees, and were designed specifically with musicians in mind.
After talking to musicians about the issues they face regarding financial management, Waupsh and Morrison devised bespoke tools to help them manage their money—tools that don’t exist anywhere else. They drew on their experience working in fintech banking for 15 years, using technology and data to level the playing field between small businesses and large corporations. This includes musicians, whom they see as small businesses in need of support.
For artists who want to own their data, proactively manage their business finances, and grant their fans unprecedented access to their repertoire and exclusive content, Nerve is the ultimate solution.
John Waupsh is co-founder and CEO of Nerve, a revolutionary app that merges user experience and financial technologies to help musicians build sustainable careers. Drawing on two decades of experience as a financial technology innovator as well as the founder and CEO of independent record label Preservation Project, John developed this innovative subscription streaming platform that offers more transparency and direct revenue than other music streaming services and gives musicians the tools they need to thrive in their business.
As a college DJ spinning rare funk and soul records in dank, dusty clubs, John became obsessed with discovering rare music that was recorded but never released. This led to the creation of Preservation Project, a boutique record label that releases rare vintage funk and soul records in short runs on vinyl, and cultivates direct relationships with the artists who made those records. The label developed a small but devoted global following, with many fans requesting that the tracks be made available on streaming services like Spotify.
“I knew that on Spotify the artists would only make a few cents and I wouldn’t be serving these artists or their families appropriately,” John said. “That inspired the idea for Nerve FM. We wanted the artists to make a fair and recurring amount of money, and we wanted to help them create more sustainable careers. I come from the world of subscription software, so creating a subscription streaming model was the natural way to go.”
Nerve is comprised of Nerve FM, a music streaming platform that enables artists to market directly to their fan base and to turn their fans into recurring revenue. It offers transparency about fan behavior that other streaming services don’t provide, gives creators up to 80 percent of revenue from their subscribers, and allows them to borrow against it interest free.
Nerve, the financial services side of the equation, is another key element of Nerve that John co-created to help musicians manage their money, take out loans for touring and other business needs, track and receive royalties, and plan for retirement.
“We started talking to musicians to understand the issues they’re facing regarding finances and money management,” John explained. “We discovered that they need very specific tools to help manage their money—tools that didn’t exist anywhere else. Given my background working in fintech and my partner Ben [Morrison’s] experience as a fintech engineer, we knew we could develop exactly the tools musicians need to thrive and build sustainable careers.”
Working in community banking for 15 years, John became passionate about using technology and data to level the playing field between small businesses and corporations or large companies. This includes musicians, whom John sees as small businesses in need of support.
“Musicians can always use more data to inform their businesses,” John said. “They can always use cheaper, better, faster technologies. Nerve FM and Nerve provide this and give musicians the tools they need to take charge of their careers.”
Prior to founding Nerve, John spent 15 years leading product management, R&D and user experience at Kasasa, a fintech company serving more than 800 banks and credit unions and millions of consumers nationwide. John keynotes 30+ events each year, and is a fintech consultant to several banks and credit unions. His book, Bankruption: How Community Banking Can Survive Fintech, is available on Amazon. He also enjoys spending time with his family in his hometown of Austin.