“Unacceptable” delays in payments for artists as PledgeMusic fails to deliver on time
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Co-founder Benji Rogers says the outcome of PledgeMusic liquidation is “devastating” for artists, who are “unlikely” to receive the money they raised on the platform
By Anna Grace on 23 Oct 2019
The artists that are owed money by bankrupted direct-to-fan marketplace PledgeMusic are “unlikely” to receive the funds they raised through the platform, a report obtained by Variety has revealed.
PledgeMusic was wound up in August, after suspending operations due to financial difficulties. The company entered liquidation with £7.4 million in debt and under £20,000 in assets.
Following its demise, industry organisations including UK Music, Music Managers’ Forum and the Association of Independent Musicians acted to assess and prevent financial damage to musicians.
However, a document from the official receiver working on the PledgeMusic liquidation has cast further doubt over the likelihood of artists seeing return of the money raised through the site.
“I do not anticipate that I will need to contact you again because there is unlikely to be a payment to creditors in this case,” concludes the report.
“I can’t believe that the artists are left without what is owed to them”
The report also reveals that legal advisors to the PledgeMusic board have indicated that money paid by fans on the platform “were not trust monies”, and that all belongs to PledgeMusic, rather than to the artists.
PledgeMusic co-founder and CEO, Benji Rogers, who returned to the company as an unpaid advisor early this year to try and resurrect it via a partnership or acquisition, told Hypebot the outcome was “devastating for every artist affected”.
“I can’t believe that they are left without what is owed to them. I am so sorry I was not able to do more,” said Rogers.
Enquiries into PledgeMusic’s “failing” are ongoing, states the report, with board members attributing the collapse to “the commission charged being insufficient to meet its expenditure”.
Rogers founded PledgeMusic along with Jayce Varden in 2009. The platform served as a direct-to-fan marketplace for merchandise, tickets, vinyl and CDs. Fans also donated money to cover artists’ recording and release costs via a crowdfunding platform.
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