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PledgeMusic to be wound up amid inquiry calls

UK Music deems PledgeMusic liquidation “entirely unsatisfactory”, seeking measures to avoid similar incidents affecting artists in future

By Anna Grace on 31 Jul 2019

PledgeMusic to be wound up amid UK Music inquiry calls

Business minister Kelly Tolhurst


image © UK Parliament

Crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic is to be liquidated, as UK Music urges government action to prevent a repeat of the “scandal” that has left hundreds of artists out of pocket.

As reported in the London Gazette and first spotted by Music Technology Policy, a Royal Courts of Justice judge today (31 July) granted an order to wind up the beleaguered company, which has failed to pay artists that raised funds through its platform. The artist-to-fan marketplace suspended operations months ago following financial difficulties.

Following the order, UK Music deputy chief executive Tom Kiehl has called on the government to take action to prevent such a situation occurring again. Kiehl states the winding up of PledgeMusic is “entirely unsatisfactory” for fans and artists.

“Many musicians across the UK relied on crowdfunding website PledgeMusic to deliver payments from patrons, to pay for album recordings and other costs,” writes Kiehl in a letter to business minister Kelly Tolhurst.

“I would like to ask for a meeting to consider further possible government interventions to ensure the issues which have arisen from PledgeMusic can never happen again”

Following on from UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher’s suggestion in May, Kiehl once again urges a referral to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, “to investigate what went wrong”.

Kiehl also asks the minster to consider taking up the case with the Financial Conduct Authority, a body responsible for regulating crowdfunding activities, to investigate any possible regulatory breaches.

“Furthermore, I would like to ask for a meeting with you to consider further possible government interventions to ensure the issues which have arisen from PledgeMusic can never happen again,” concludes Kiehl.

Industry organisations including Music Managers’ Forum (MMF), PRS Foundation, the Musicians’ Union and the Association of Independent Musicians’ (AIM) last month set up a survey to assess the damage PledgeMusic’s demise caused for artists.

 


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