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PledgeMusic issues statement amid latest artist payment problems

By | Published on Friday 25 January 2019


PledgeMusic has issued a long statement following widespread commentary online about issues around artists not receiving monies pledged to campaigns run on the direct-to-fan and crowd-funding platform.

There were issues around late payments from Pledge last year, but then in October it announced an executive rejig and new finance system that the company said should solve the problems.

However, issues have continued and an increasing number of artists still awaiting payment have started to go public.

In a statement issued to Billboard, PledgeMusic said yesterday that it “has always been committed to serving artist and fan communities. It was established by artists and was born of a need to change the way in which the traditional music industry operated. It was designed to help artists and their teams at every level, and we believe that PledgeMusic has become an essential part of the evolving landscape of the music industry”.

“That said”, it went on, “we deeply regret that recently we have not lived up to the high standards to which PledgeMusic has always held itself. We acknowledge that many artists have and continue to experience payment delays. These delays to artists are unacceptable – not only to them, but to us”.

Referencing recent financing, executive rejigs and logistical overhauls, the statement added: “While the company has made progress, we still haven’t reached our goals. PledgeMusic has been in discussions with several strategic players in the industry who have interest in the PledgeMusic platform. We are evaluating a number of transactions with those potential partners, and we plan to announce details of this in the next 60 days. It is our expectation that payments will be brought current within the next 90 days”.

Concluding, the business said that it accepts “responsibility for the fact that we have been late on payments over the past year. PledgeMusic is working tirelessly on this issue, and we are asking our community for their continued support and patience”.

Pledge co-founder Benji Rogers, who is no longer with the business but who is still often linked to it – having been the public face of the company for many years – has also issued a statement. He wrote: “To the artists, their teams, managers, labels and fans, and to all who have been negatively affected by the issues at PledgeMusic, I am truly sorry”.

Recalling how the business was set up to be a genuinely trusted partner for the artists it worked with, he goes on: “Even though I handed over day-to-day control of Pledge as its CEO for the second time in April of 2016 and left the board last February, the fact that this trust is now broken is unacceptable to me personally and I am truly sorry to all of you who have been affected by this. I have emailed a lot of you from my personal email account, as I no longer have a Pledge email address, and have tried to help where I can, but it’s not enough”.

“As such”, he then revealed, “I have been in touch with the current board and management team to offer my help both strategically and practically. If it is asked for, I will commit to doing all that I can to ensure that this wonderful engine that we created does not cause any further harm, and can grow into something even better for all who would use it”.

Concluding, Rogers wrote: “I would like to acknowledge the incredible team, which includes one of my co-founders, who have been battling to get the right people paid under immensely difficult circumstances both professionally and personally. They are feeling the heat, as they are on the front lines of this and are doing their very best to help you. Of that, I have no doubt. Once again I am truly sorry to any and all of you who have been harmed as a result of what I made. Please know that I will do all that is within my power to make it right and to fix what I can if given the opportunity to do so”.