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Type of site
|Direct-to-fan music platform|
|Industry||Crowdsourcing for musicians|
|Alexa rank||35,359 (Global, April 2017)|
|Registration||viewing - no, selling/buying - yes[a]|
PledgeMusic was an online direct-to-fan music platform, launched in August 2009, that was started to facilitate 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 bore some similarities to other artist payment platforms as ArtistShare, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, RocketHub and Sellaband. The company announced it was facing bankruptcy in May 2019, after a year of artists reporting slow payment problems and was wound up on July 31.
- 1 Business model
- 2 History
- 3 Artists with campaigns on the site
- 4 In the Charts
- 5 Affiliated companies and partnerships
- 6 Awards
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- Sole focus on raising funds for musicians
- Not retaining any ownership or rights to any music created through the platform
- Encourages artists to include contributions to charity
- Absorbs all transaction processing costs involved in pledging on a project
- Encourages artists to offer a wide range of incentives and exclusive content to fans
- No processing of any fund transactions until the fund target reached
- International, accepting artists, projects and pledges from all over the world
- Pledger refunds
PledgeMusic had 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. 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.
PledgeMusic artists have the option of donating a percentage of their total or post-goal revenue to a charity of their choice. Currently, 67% of projects are linked with a charity.[when?] Artists without a cause in mind are able to meet with the company's charity outreach specialist to pair them up with charities.
In June 2019, Musically reported that Kickstarter decided against launching a similar service due to being unable to find a sustainable business model that would support a high number of lower-volume creators.
PledgeMusic was formed in the UK and registered with Companies House on October 1, 2008 by Benji Rogers, Jann Tosatto, Jayce Varden and Rupert Selby who were all directors of the company.
In the next few years, a number of complementary companies were also formed under the PledgeMusic banner. They were: PledgeMusic Retail Ltd on June 18, 2009; PledgeMusic Recordings Limited on August 18, 2010 (originally named PledgeMusic 2.0 Limited); and PledgeMusic Publishing on November 11, 2010. Benji Rogers was a director of all of the additional companies together with others in various combinations, some of whom went on to also become PledgeMusic.com directors.
Ginger Wildheart was awarded the 2012 Classic Rock Awards 'Event Of The Year' award for his PledgeMusic campaign.
By 2013, roughly thirty artists that used the site had subsequently signed label recording contracts.
In 2014, PledgeMusic reported a 90% campaign success rate (higher than Kickstarter or Indiegogo), with most artists raising an average 140% of their goal. PledgeMusic and Lynda.com teamed up to produce a documentary about 'super fans' and their role in the future of the music industry. The documentary features footage and interviews from SXSW and interviews with artists such as Nicole Atkins and San Fermin.
By the last quarter of 2015, all of the founding directors, with the exception of Benji Rogers, had left PledgeMusic. Rusell Rieger and Joshua Sason joined as directors in 2015 with Donald Ienner, Daniel Rowe and David Walsh joining in June 2017. Benji Rogers eventually left the company on February 18, 2018.
Payment issues since 2018
In early 2019, reports emerged of artists not being paid in accordance with their agreements with PledgeMusic. Also at that time, PledgeMusic's accounts for 2017 had not been filed with Companies House in the UK and by then were 4 months overdue. On 24 January 2019, PledgeMusic issued a statement via its blog page that claimed the company was having “discussions with several strategic players in the industry who have an interest in the PledgeMusic platform” and that it expects "payments will be brought current within the next 90 days."
On January 29, PledgeMusic founder Benji Rogers issued a statement saying he was returning to the company as "a volunteer strategic advisor and observer to the board." While the company was still working to "sort the back payments issue", Rogers claimed that "all funds coming into the company from now on will be managed by an independent third party (to be named soon)."
On May 3, a report was published in Digital Music News in which a leaked email was quoted, apparently sent from Robbie Wirdnam, an assistant manager at FRP Advisory LLP, who, according to the email, are due to be appointed as administrators for the winding up of PledgeMusic.com. The email was attempting to find potential buyers for all or part of the PledgeMusic business prior to selling off the company's assets.
Administration: May 2019 to present
Benji Rogers, the company's co-founder, stated in a blog dated May 8 that efforts to sell the company had failed and that "PledgeMusic will shortly be heading into administration". Rogers said that the crowdfunding platform had used money that was pledged for use by musical artists to pay off the company's debts instead. Many artists who were pledged money through the website will most likely not receive the money that was promised to them. John Zorn is among the artists affected, who is owed $197,559, money which was pledged to help him finish his 25-year-long project, The Book Beriah.
Sometime between July 13 and July 25, the PledgeMusic.com website became unavailable. The latest archived copy held by web.archive.org was dated July 13.
On July 31, a petition to wind up PledgeMusic.com was heard in the High Court of London. The petition was presented by Russell Rieger on behalf of the directors of PledgeMusic.com, who at that time were Russell Rieger, Joshua Sason, Donald Ienner, Daniel Rowe and David Walsh, and was granted on August 19.
Artists with campaigns on the site
|Campaign End Date||Artist||Project Type||Project Title||Label||References|
|PledgeMusic went bankrupt before Zorn, along with hundreds of other artists, was paid||John Zorn||Album||The Book Beriah||Tzadik|||
|January 2019||Utopia||Album||Utopia : The Complete Bearsville Singles 1977-1982||Rhino/Bearsville/Warner Bros.|||
|2018||Men at Work||Album||Men at Work: You Better Take Cover (A tribute to Greg Ham)||PledgeMusic|||
|July 2018||Willie Nile||Album||Children of Paradise||River House Records|||
|2017||"Weird Al" Yankovic||Other||Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of "Weird Al" Yankovic||Legacy Recordings|||
|Ongoing||Aly & AJ||EP||Ten Years||Aly & AJ Music, LLC|||
|October 2016||Justin Guarini||EP||JG||PledgeMusic|||
|Ongoing||Erasure||Album||World Be Gone||Mute|||
|March 2016?||Demon Hunter||Album||Outlive||Solid State Records|
|Ongoing||Marillion||Album||Fuck Everyone and Run||Intact/EarMusic|||
|Ongoing||Culture Club||Album||Tribes||Different Man/Kobalt|||
|October 2016||Sum 41||Album||"13 Voices"||Hopeless Records|||
|Ongoing||Esmee Denters||Album||New EP||PledgeMusic|||
|Ongoing||Christian Death||Album||The Root of All Evolution||PledgeMusic|||
|May 2015||Ash||Album||"Kablammo!"||Atomic Heart Records|||
|Ongoing||Macy Gray||Album||The Way||PledgeMusic|||
|Ongoing||Plain White T's||Album||American Nights||PledgeMusic|||
|Ongoing||Black Veil Brides||Album||"Black Veil Brides IV"||Universal/Republic|||
|Ongoing||Unlocking the Truth||Debut EP||RED Associated Labels|||
|Done||Erasure||Album||The Violet Flame||Mute|||
|Ongoing||RX Bandits||Album||"Gemini, Her Majesty"||INgrooves|||
|Ongoing||Echo & the Bunnymen||Album||"Meteorites"||429|||
|Ongoing||Rufus Wainwright||Album||"Prima Donna"||Independent|||
|Ongoing||Matt Pond||Album||"State of Gold"||BMG Rights Management|||
|Ongoing||The Birthday Massacre||Album||"Superstition"||Metropolis|||
|Ongoing||Chali 2na||EP||"Against The Current"||Independent|||
|October 2015||The Zombies||Album||"Still Got That Hunger"||The End Records|||
|September 2015||David Cook||Album||"Digital Vein"||Analog Heart Music / INgrooves|||
|September 2015||Silversun Pickups||Album||"Better Nature"||New Machine Records|||
|December 2014||Dexys||Album||"Nowhere Is Home"||Absolute Marketing and Distribution|||
|December 2014||The Enemy||Album||"Dancing All Night"||Cooking Vinyl|||
|November 2014||The Vines||Album||"Wicked Nature"||Wicked Nature|||
|November 2014||Terri Clark||Album||Baretrack Records / EMI|||
|November 2014||Weezer||Album||"Everything Will Be Alright in the End"||Universal/Republic|||
|November 2014||Interpol||Album||"El Pintor"||PIAS Entertainment Group|||
|October 2014||Mobb Deep||Album||"The Infamous Mobb Deep"||Infamous Records|||
|October 2014||Antigone Rising||Album||"Whiskey & Wine (vol. 1 & 2)"||Independent|||
|October 2014||Jack Strify||Album||"ILLUSION"||Independent|||
|June 2014||SPONGE||Tour||Endless Summer Tour||Independent|||
|June 2014||Sevendust||Album||"Time Travelers & Bonfires"||7Bros Records|||
|June 2014||Peter Murphy||Album||"Mr. Moonlight Tour:
35 Years of Bauhaus"
|June 2014||K.Flay||Album||"Life As A Dog"||Independent|||
|June 2014||Klaxons||Album||"Love Frequency"||RED|||
|May 2014||The Clarks||Album||"Feathers & Bones"||Independent|||
|May 2014||Lindsey Stirling||Album||"Shatter Me"||Lindseystomp|||
|May 2014||Buzzcocks||Album||"The Way"||Cooking Vinyl|||
|May 2014||Devin Townsend||Album||"Casualties of Cool"|||
|May 2014||Peter Andre||Album||"Big Night"||Independent|||
|April 2014||Blake Lewis||Album||"Portrait of a Chameleon"||INgrooves|||
|April 2014||Steel Panther||Album||"All You Can Eat"||Kobalt|||
|April 2014||The Babys||Album||"I'll Have Some Of That!"||All In Time Records|||
|April 2014||Joan Osborne||Album||"Love and Hate"||Membran|||
|April 2014||Dan Wilson||Album||"Love Without Fear"||Kobalt|||
|March 2014||Natives||Album||"Indoor War"||Transmission Recordings|||
|March 2014||Kate Miller-Heidke||Album||"O Vertigo!"||Cooking Vinyl|||
|March 2014||Tokyo Police Club||Album||"Forcefield"||Mom + Pop|||
|March 2014||Stiff Little Fingers||Album||"No Going Back"||Rigid Digits|||
|February 2014||The Presidents of the USA||Album||"Kudos to You!"||PUSA Inc.|||
|February 2014||Reverend and The Makers||Album||"ThirtyTwo"||Cooking Vinyl|||
|January 2014||The Hold Steady||EP||"The Unified Scene"||Razor & Tie|||
|January 2014||The Rifles||Album||"None the Wiser"||Cooking Vinyl|||
|January 2014||Hard-Fi||Album||"Hard-Fi: Best of 2004 – 2014"||Warner|||
|December 2013||Flyleaf||Album||"Between The Stars"||Loud and Proud Records|||
|November 2013||Mike Doughty||Album||"Circles, Super Bon Bon, and
The Very Best Of Soul Coughing"
|November 2013||Apocalyptica||Album||"Wagner Reloaded"||RCA|||
|November 2013||Umphrey's McGee||Live Album||"Hall of Fame: Class of 2012"||Nothing Too Fancy Music|||
|October 2013||Slash||Album||"Nothing Left to Fear
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)"
|September 2013||Katatonia||Album||"Dethroned & Uncrowned"||Burning Shed|||
|September 2013||Lissie||Album||"Back to Forever"||Columbia (UK/EUR)
Fat Possum (US)
|August 2013||Juliana Hatfield||Album||"Wild Animals"||Ye Olde Records|||
|June 2013||Sam Duckworth (GCWCF)||Album||"Amazing Grace"||Independent|||
|May 2013||Donots||Live DVD/Album||"Wake the States"||Solitary Man|||
|April 2013||Bring Me the Horizon||Album||"Sempiternal"||RCA|||
|April 2013||The Whybirds||Album||"A Little Blood"||The Little Red Recording Company|||
|March 2013||IAMX||Album||"The Unified Field"||61seconds Records|||
|March 2013||Kate Nash||Album||Girl Talk"||INgrooves|||
|December 2012||Ian McCulloch||Album||"Pro Patria Mori"||Independent|||
|November 2012||Kissy Sell Out||Album||"San City High ALL STARS"||San City High Records|||
|October 2012||LCD Soundsystem||DVD||"Shut Up and Play the Hits"||DFA|||
|August 2012||Kill It Kid||EP||"Rarities"||Independent|||
|July 2012||Ginger Wildheart||Album||"Hey! Hello!"||Round Records|||
|July 2012||Ginger Wildheart||Album||"Mutations/Mutations 2"||Round Records|||
|April 2012||The Libertines||DVD||"There Are No Innocent Bystanders"||Absolute|||
|March 2012||The Infamous Stringdusters||Album||"Silver Sky"||High Country Recordings|||
|October 2011||The Lumineers||Other||Dualtone|||
|September 2011||Crystal Fighters||Deluxe Album||"Star of Love"||Independent|||
|September 2011||The Subways||Album||"Money and Celebrity"||Independent|||
|September 2011||Art Brut||Album||"Brilliant! Tragic!"||Cooking Vinyl (UK/EUR)
|July 2010||Ginger Wildheart||Album||"555% (aka 100%)"||Round Records|||
|May 2010||Kopecky Family Band||Album||"The Disaster"||ATO Records|||
|On Going||Blind Pilot||Album||"And Then Like Lions"||ATO Records|||
|May 2010||Princess Superstar||Album||"The New Evolution"||Independent|
In the Charts
Various PledgeMusic albums have had chart success, including:
- Stiff Little Fingers - No Going Back - #1 in UK Rock Album Charts - #28 in UK Album Charts
- 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 on the Billboard Top 200
- The Subways - Money and Celebrity - #16 in Germany, #43 in the UK
- Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal - #3 in the UK, #1 in Australia
- Lindsey Stirling - Shatter Me - #2 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 in both Classical and EDM
- Sevendust - Time Travelers and Bonfires - #19 in the US
- Kate Miller-Heidke - O Vertigo! - #3 in Australia
- 311 - STEREOLITHIC - #6 on the Billboard Top 200
- Mindi Abair - #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart
- Casey Crescenzo - #2 on the Billboard Classical chart
- The Puppini Sisters - The High Life - #1 debut on the UK iTunes Jazz Chart, #3 debut US iTunes Jazz Chart
- The String Cheese Incident — #1 Billboard Heatseekers, #4 Vinyl
- Thomas Rhett - #1 Billboard 200
- Gary Numan — #2 in the UK
- Rhydian - One Day Like This - #19 in UK Album Charts
Affiliated companies and partnerships
PledgeMusic and the following companies have entered into commercial partnerships to provide more integrated services to Artists:
- SoundOut (Slicethepie's insight and analytics service)
- Lyric Financial
- Topspin Media
- Artist Growth
- INgrooves Fontana
- The Agency Group
PledgeMusic was nominated for the 2010 BT Digital Music Awards in the category "Best Innovation or Gadget".
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".
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.
Co-founders Benji Rogers and Malcolm Dunbar were named to The Hospital Club 100 list in 2013 in the category of Music.
Benji Rogers, founder and president of PledgeMusic, won A&R Worldwide's International Music Industry Awards' Distinguished Digital Executive of the Year, 2014
- Bandzoogle - similar services offered
- Comparison of crowd funding services
- Fan Funded
- Social commerce
- Web 2.0
- Music 2.0
- You are not required to sign up to view projects or browse, but you are required to for purchasing and making projects.
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- "Utopia: The Complete Bearsville Singles 1977-1982".
- "Men at Work: You Better Take Cover (A tribute to Greg Ham)".
- "Children of Paradise".
- "Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of "Weird Al" Yankovic".
- "Aly and AJ: Ten Years EP".
- "Justin Guarini: JG".
- "Erasure: World Be Gone".
- "Marillion: F*** Everyone And Run (F E A R) on PledgeMusic".
- "Marillion : New Album".
- "Culture Club: Tribes on PledgeMusic".
- "Culture Club : New Album".
- "Sum 41 to release comeback album".
- "Sum 41 : New Album".
- "Esmee Denters: New Ep".
- "CHRISTIAN DEATH: New album".
- "Dweezil Zappa".
- "Shayne Ward announces new album for February 2015".
- "Macy Gray".
- "Plain Whitets".
- "Guster: PRE-ORDER THE NEW ALBUM GUSTER ALBUM".
- "Black Veil Brides: New Album Pre-Order on PledgeMusic".
- "Unlocking The Truth: New EP on PledgeMusic".
- "Erasure: The Violet Flame".
- "Rx Bandits: The New Album! on PledgeMusic".
- "Echo and the Bunnymen: Meteorites on PledgeMusic".
- "Rufus Wainwright: Prima Donna on PledgeMusic".
- "Matt Pond: State of Gold Pre-Order".
- "The Birthday Massacre: We're Making a New Album!".
- "Chali 2na: Against The Current on PledgeMusic".
- "The Zombies: New Album on PledgeMusic".
- "David Cook: Digital Vein on PledgeMusic".
- "Silversun Pickups on PledgeMusic".
- "Dexys: Nowhere Is Home on PledgeMusic".
- "The Enemy: New Album on PledgeMusic".
- "The Vines: Wicked Nature on PledgeMusic".
- "Terri Clark: New Studio Album".
- "Weezer: Everything Will Be Alright in the End".
- "Interpol: El Pintor".
- "Mobb Deep: The Infamous on PledgeMusic".
- "Antigone Rising: Whiskey and Wine on PledgeMusic".
- "Jack Strify: ILLUSION".
- "SPONGE: Summer Tour 2014".
- "Sevendust: New Acoustic Album on PledgeMusic".
- "Peter Murphy: Mr. Moonlight Tour: 35 Years of Bauhaus on PledgeMusic".
- "K.Flay: NEW ALBUM".
- "Klaxons: Love Frequency".
- "The Clarks: New album "Feathers & Bones"".
- "Lindsey Stirling: My New Album".
- "Buzzcocks: My Way on PledgeMusic".
- "Casualties of Cool: Casualties of Cool on PledgeMusic".
- "Peter Andre: New Album".
- "Blake Lewis: New Album".
- "Steel Panther: The New Album - All You Can Eat!! on PledgeMusic".
- "The Babys: Brand New Album Coming April 2014".
- "Joan Osborne on PledgeMusic".
- "Dan Wilson: Love Without Fear on PledgeMusic".
- "311: Pre-order 'STEREOLITHIC' on PledgeMusic".
- "Natives: Indoor War on PledgeMusic".
- "Kate Miller-Heidke: New Album on PledgeMusic".
- "Tokyo Police Club: Forcefield on PledgeMusic".
- "Stiff Little Fingers on PledgeMusic".
- "The Presidents of the USA: New Studio Album".
- "Reverend and the Makers: New Album on PledgeMusic".
- "The Hold Steady: The Unified Scene".
- "The Rifles: New Album on PledgeMusic".
- "Hard-Fi: Best of 2004 - 2014 on PledgeMusic".
- "Flyleaf: Between The Stars".
- "Mike Doughty: Soul Coughing Songs: Reimagined".
- "Apocalyptica: Wagner Reloaded on PledgeMusic".
- "Umphrey's Mcgee: Hall of Fame: Class of 2012".
- "Slash: Nothing Left to Fear Soundtrack".
- "Katatonia: New Album on PledgeMusic".
- "Lissie: New Album".
- "Juliana Hatfield: brand new album 2013".
- "Browse Artists".
- "Donots: USA Tour DVD & Live Album".
- "Bring Me the Horizon: New Album".
- "The Whybirds: The third studio album".
- "IAMX: NEW ALBUM".
- "Kate Nash: Girl Talk".
- "Ian McCulloch: New Solo Album on PledgeMusic".
- "Kissy Sell Out: San City High ALL STARS Album on PledgeMusic".
- "LCD Soundsystem: Shut Up And Play The Hits on PledgeMusic".
- "Kill It Kid: Rarities/Demos EP on PledgeMusic".
- "Ginger Wildheart: Mutation and Hey! Hello! on PledgeMusic".
- "The Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders on PledgeMusic".
- "The Infamous Stringdusters: The Infamous Stringdusters "Silver Sky"".
- "The Lumineers: We've Been Robbed..."
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