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UK Music urges watchdog to investigate PledgeMusic

As crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic faces further crisis and artists remain unpaid, UK Music chief Michael Dugher urges CMA intervention

By Anna Grace on 10 May 2019

PledgeMusic UK Music

Michael Dugher

image © Anthony McKeown

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has called on small business and consumer minister Kelly Tolhurst to refer PledgeMusic to watchdogs at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Dugher’s intervention comes after one of the firm’s co-founders, Benji Rodgers, warned that the music crowdfunding website was on the brink of bankruptcy. Rodgers had previously hoped to keep the direct-to-fan marketplace afloat by securing a partnership or acquisition deal.

The disclosure affects many artists who fear they will not receive the money that they are owed by PledgeMusic if it goes into administration. In January, it was revealed that the company was behind on payments to multiple artists, with debts amounting to thousands of dollars.

Dugher called on the consumer minister to investigate the firm’s failure and refer the case to the UK competition authority CMA.

His demand comes as the Musicians’ Union urged musicians owed money through the platform to contact them.

“Creators who used PledgeMusic’s services are likely to lose money”

“Many musicians across the UK relied on crowdfunding website PledgeMusic to deliver payments from patrons, to pay for album recordings and costs,” says Dugher.

“These artists were already enduring long delays in receiving payments. As a consequence, creators who used PledgeMusic’s services are likely to lose money, if it goes into administration without resolving its outstanding debts.”

Crowdfunding platforms such as PledgeMusic, states Dugher, are an important way for emerging artists to raise capital to support album recording costs, music video costs and other capital expenditures.

“This is often a crucial step for them to progress through the music talent pipeline. Musicians should be able to trust crowdfunding platforms to fulfil their obligation of delivering money pledged by fans and supporters,” adds Dugher.

“I would therefore ask that you refer PledgeMusic to the CMA to ensure that this matter is properly investigated.”


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