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Direct-to-fan platform PledgeMusic owes artists $1,000s

“Unacceptable” delays in payments for artists as PledgeMusic fails to deliver on time

By Anna Grace on 25 Jan 2019

MusicPledge late payments

Fastball are among artists affected by late payments

image © Fastball

The artist-to-fan marketplace PledgeMusic is behind on payments to multiple artists who have raised funds through its platform, prompting criticism from the music community.

Reports started to circulate that PledgeMusic was failing to pay musicians on time in June last year. Multiple prominent artists are now owed large sums of money from the company.

In September, chief executive Dominic Pandiscia stepped down from his position and the company reshuffled the senior management team, pointing to new investors.

Music industry pundit Bob Lefsetz brought attention to the issues this week, writing that American rock band Fastball “can’t get paid”. PledgeMusic reportedly owes the band US$20,000.

Over 25 artists and agents responded to the letter, citing similar grievances.

PledgeMusic issued a statement stating it is “committed to serving artist and fan communities”.

“We deeply regret that recently we have not lived up to the high standards to which PledgeMusic has always held itself”

“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.”

The company states that it expects to bring payments up-to-date within the next 90 days.

PledgeMusic cofounder Benji Rogers, who left the company in 2016, apologises to artists and fans: “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.”

PledgeMusic was founded in 2009 by Benji Rogers and Jayce Varden. The platform aimed to connect fans directly with artists, facilitating the sale of tickets, vinyl, CDs and merchandise without the need for a middleman.

Fans also contributed towards recording costs through a crowdfunding service and received regular updates on artists’ progress.


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