|Slogan||Hands-on, Direct to Fan - The New Business of Making Music|
PledgeMusic is an online Direct-to-Fan music platform, launched in August 2009, that facilitates musicians reaching out to their fanbase (termed Pledgers) to pre-sell, market, and distribute music projects including recordings, music videos, and concerts. Broadly speaking it bears some similarities to such platforms as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub and Sellaband.
PledgeMusic considers itself a direct-to-fan platform as opposed to a crowdfunding website. Features of PledgeMusic that distinguish it from other crowdfunding systems include that it:
- is solely focused on raising funds for musicians
- does not retain any ownership or rights to any music created through the platform
- encourages artists to include contributions to charity as part of their fundraising project
- absorbs all transaction processing costs involved in pledging on a project
- encourages artists to offer a wide range of incentives and exclusive content to pledgers
- does not process any funding transactions until the funding target is reached
- is international, accepting artists, projects and pledgers from all over the world
- allows pledger refunds
PledgeMusic allows two distinct types of campaigns: direct-to-fan and preorder. In direct-to-fan campaigns, fans are not charged until the project target is reached, at which point money is collected in an "artist account" that holds the money for disbursement to the intended recipients. If a target is not reached, fans are not charged. In preorder campaigns, fans are charged immediately, and the artist is paid directly upon project completion, much like traditional online retail.
PledgeMusic has successfully helped fund a number of artists' projects, with more than 82% of projects launched on the site successfully reaching their target. Some of these artists include Bruce Foxton, Daniel Bedingfield, Duke Special, Flotsam and Jetsam, and Gang of Four.
Various PledgeMusic albums have achieved significant chart success, including:
- Ginger Wildheart - 100% - 27 in the UK
- Charlie Simpson - When We Were Lions - 6 in the UK
- Ben Folds Five - The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind - 10 in the US
- The Subways - Money and Celebrity - 16 in Germany, 43 in the UK
- Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal - 3 in the UK, 1 in Australia
More than 30 PledgeMusic artists have been subsequently signed to major or independent label recording contracts.
PledgeMusic is run by CEO Benji Rogers, a London born musician who has been recording and touring since 1999. Malcolm Dunbar, formerly A&R Director at Island, Warners/East West, Mother/Universal, V2 and Sanctuary, is Managing Director. Randy Sabiston, previously at S1 Songs America, Warner/Chappell, Polygram/Island Music Publishing and EMI Music Publishing, is MD for North America. Rose Noone, formerly of Warner Bros, Epic Records and Island Records, is the Head of US A&R, and Scot Crawford is General Manager of Australia and New Zealand.
PledgeMusic has offices in London, New York and Los Angeles, and representatives in Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, Spain, Canada, and Australia.
Affiliated companies and partnerships
PledgeMusic and the following companies have entered into commercial partnerships to provide more integrated services to Artists:
- SonicBids (who also owns www.artistdata.com) 
- SoundOut (Slicethepie's insight and analytics service) 
- Lyric Financial
- Topspin Media 
- Artist Growth 
- Firebrand 
- INgrooves Fontana 
- Inertia 
- INDMusic 
Awards, nominations, and notable commentary
PledgeMusic was nominated for the 2010 BT Digital Music Awards in the category "Best Innovation or Gadget".
While discussing the Digital Economy Bill Lord Errol, in the UK House of Lords, has described PledgeMusic as a "rather clever idea" in the context of new ways of releasing music.
PledgeMusic was nominated for the 2011 Music Week Awards in the category "Consumer-Facing Digital Music Service of the Year".
PledgeMusic was nominated for the 2011 BT Digital Music Awards in the category "Best Innovation or Gadget".
Ginger Wildheart was awarded the 2012 Classic Rock Awards 'Event Of The Year' award for his PledgeMusic campaign.
PledgeMusic won the Grammy Music Technology Lab in 2013.
PledgeMusic was nominated for SoundCtrl's 2013 Best in Artist Support award.
PledgeMusic was nominated for the American Association of Independent Music 2013 Annual Libera Awards (The “LIBBYs”) 21st Century Award – celebrating the service provider or platform that was most beneficial to Independent labels and artists.
- Comparison of crowd funding services
- Fan Funded
- Social commerce
- Web 2.0
- Music 2.0
||This article uses bare URLs for citations, which may be threatened by link rot. (May 2013)|
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- "FLOTSAM AND JETSAM Completes Mixing 'Ugly Noise'". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
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- "PledgeMusic Direct-to-Fan Funding Engine to Be Integrated Into the Sonicbids Robust Offering of Tools for Artists". Marketwire.com. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- [dead link]
- "Direct-To-Fan Funding". Lyric Financial. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "PledgeMusic Partners With Nimbit To Launch PledgeStore". hypebot. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- Pledge Announces New Integrated Marketing Partnership. PledgeMusic. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- News: Inertia announces new strategic partnership with PledgeMusic! - Inertia. Inertia-music.com (2012-11-26). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- 4-12 Weekend Wrap-Up: INDMUSIC Partnership, Jesse Malin and More!. PledgeMusic (2013-04-12). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- SXSW 2011!. Hotelcafe.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- presents The Hotel Cafe at SXSW 2012. PledgeMusic (2012-02-21). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- PledgeMusic Announces Lineup for CMJ Day Party and Night Showcase at the Rockwood Music Hall. Marketwire.com (2011-10-06). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- BT news releases. Btplc.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- [dead link]
- Williams, Paul. (2011-04-18) Awards nominations announced. Music Week. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- [dead link]
- Award-winning Ginger Wildheart Pledge campaign 'testament to commercial viability of D2F'. Music Week. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- Five Digital Startups to Watch in 2013 | Billboard. Billboard.biz (2012-12-14). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- Wins Grammy Music Technology Lab. PledgeMusic (2013-02-27). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- Thanks to SoundCtrl for Nominating Us for a 2013 FlashFWD Award!. PledgeMusic (2013-04-16). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
- American Association of Independent Music — Blog — A2IM LIBBY Awards Final Nominees Announced. A2IM (2013-04-24). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.