How Public Records saves 20 hours each week paying 1099 talent and their managers

How Public Records saves 20 hours each week paying 1099 talent and their managers



hours per week reclaimed for more strategic, value-adding work

hours per week reclaimed for more strategic, value-adding work



talent paid on time and transparently via ACH each month

talent paid on time and transparently via ACH each month



W9s automatically collected, verified and stored per year

W9s automatically collected, verified and stored per year

Archie takes out all the redundant data entry and information management we had to do. Using Archie gives our booking team free time to build relationships with our agencies and artists.

Cristopher Wagner, COO at Public Records

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Companys name

Public Records

About the company

Public Records is a hospitality, music, and event venue management company dedicated to exploring culture through music. They currently run four hospitality spaces: a nightclub, a live music venue, an outdoor music venue, and an elevated cocktail lounge. Located in the historic ASPCA Building in Brooklyn, they aim to be a conscious-minded social and entertainment space centered around music.

The Problem

Public Records’ finance and ops teams needed to organize data, automate tasks, and empower their vendors

Public Records isn’t like other hospitality companies. Rather than just caring for their most obvious stakeholder (guests), Public Records extends hospitality to everyone who enters their premises. For entertaining artists and their contract support staff, the distinction means everything. It builds trust, reciprocity, and even a desire to collaborate repeatedly.

But last year, COO Cristopher Wagner noticed something was limiting their ability to advance their mission: his team’s use of spreadsheets and analog processes. The list of manual tasks included:

  • Collecting and managing documentation — W9s, contracts, payment dates, balances, deposits, and other information

  • Creating artist profiles in their payment platform

  • Sending and tracking ACH payments to artists

  • Sharing payment confirmation with the programming team who then sent it to the artists

The time they were spending on administrative work was threatening their ability to build and maintain quality relationships within the Brooklyn music scene. And the threat was growing.

"We had over 500 artists play our venues in 2023. The volume of artists in town that we were booking throughout the year, there was just a lot of overlapping and confusing email communications, endless phone calls, and invoice processing,” he says. “It ended up becoming 80% of our booker’s job."

Cristopher saw a broken system. Creative-minded people on the programming team were bogged down in data collection, data entry, and paper-chasing. It took around 20 hours per week to pay just 10 people — then they spent even more time documenting and confirming transactions between artists, accountants, and agencies.

The “squeaky wheels” of time-consuming data management took time away from the activities that make, curate, and deepen connections with artists and their agencies. Plus the added hours needed by Public Records’ accountants just to keep up would cost them even more in monthly fees.

“The problem crept up pretty steadily. It eventually absorbed one person's full position and was taking up so much of the accountants’ time that they asked for more hours to keep up with demand. We all wished that there was software that streamlined the work so our artists would get paid.”

The Solution

Adopting Archie streamlined clunky processes and delivered massive time savings

A friend suggested that Cristopher check out Archie, the first purpose-built platform designed specifically for companies like Public Records. Archie’s founders met with Cristopher to hear about his team’s specific challenges and explore clear, workable ways to turn those frustrations into opportunities. 

Implementing Archie would streamline all of Public Records’ administrative processes from the first time they meet and onboard new talent. The platform could even streamline many bookkeeping and accounting tasks, including the execution of their payments and distribution of tax forms. Archie could also manage the status of tasks, events, and relationships in real time so that artists could log in and self-educate. This would free up substantial time and the valuable attention of Public Records’ talent buyers. 

When a new relationship forms, Public Records buyers need to create a profile for the artist or agency with all their contact information, payment details, transaction history, and relevant notes. Instead of Public Record needing to hunt down all those details, the artist or agency contact now creates the profile, as they already know all the information. 

Another common scenario Archie now solves is when an inevitable typo manages to slip through on a bank account or routing number field, for example. Before adopting their new system, the Public Records team wasn’t even aware of the problem until days — sometimes weeks — after the payment had bounced and delayed communications. And by that time, tensions could be (understandably, but preventably) heightened. 

Sorting it out and tracking down the root of the problem cost the team unmeasurable time and energy. Now though, artists can log in themselves and track the status of their payments. Then they can determine when to simply sit tight and wait another day — or reach out about an issue they caught early enough to remedy.

“Archie’s team listens to the features that my team and I need and they really actually put that feedback into consideration, making adjustments as we recommend. They're very curious about my team’s experience. I feel like they genuinely care about our opinion as a nightlife venue.”

The Results

Public Records now easily manages 80 shows per month while strengthening its artist-centric reputation in tandem

In nightlife venue management, reputation is everything. When artists crave your stage, their fans sense that excitement and flock to enjoy those events. Now that Public Records is back to doing what they do best — building high-caliber relationships in entertainment — both artists and guests are catching the buzz. 

For Cristopher’s team, the results of implementing Archie include:

  • 20 hours per week reclaimed for more strategic, value-adding work

  • 80 talent paid on time and transparently via ACH each month

  • 900+ W9s automatically collected, verified and stored per year

“It's really important to us that our artists always receive their payments on time. And now we know that they do. They feel like they're taken care of. Archie has really helped us do that.”

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