One Week Later, PledgeMusic’s Crowdfunding Campaigns Remain Suspended

More than a week after suspending all crowdfunding campaigns, PledgeMusic remains silent about what’s going on.

PledgeMusic has been promising since the summer of 2018 that it would make back payments to artists.

Benji Rogers, the co-founder of PledgeMusic, recently returned to the company to help sort out the whole mess.  Rogers’ return included a blog post in which he promised to help shape up the floundering crowdfunding company.

A week ago, the platform suspended all crowdfunding campaigns on the service.  These campaigns remain suspended with thousands of musicians owed tens of thousands of dollars in funds pledged by their music fans.

We’ve heard one account of a payment actually being made — or partially made.  But overall, it looks like payments are totally frozen.

Fans can no longer contribute to any music campaign that is available on PledgeMusic.

Instead, users are greeted with a pop-up that says, “Unfortunately, PledgeMusic has suspended pledges on all active campaigns and will look to resume them shortly. Thanks for your patience.”

With those campaigns suspended more than a week ago, PledgeMusic has been radio silent about the issue.

Rumors have suggested that the start-up is seeking a cash infusion or an acquisition opportunity to save itself.

No emails requesting comment on the issue have been answered.  The company won’t reveal any details about possible acquisitions, which suggests that nobody is lining up to purchase this stinker.

The British Musicians’ Union has taken a stance against the company and urged its artists to use more reputable platforms. Rogers has asked angry fans and musicians to stop venting their anger at the company.

“I must ask you to please stop abusing the customer service & campaigns teams. They’re music fans like you and are some of the most dedicated people I know.”

More as this develops.

2 Responses

  1. Andrew

    Raging against employees or the directors or the investors of PledgeMusic is understandable but it will achieve nothing constructive, particularly if the fans and artists wish for PledgeMusic to survive long enough to pay all artists the money due to them.

    No-one can condone what has happened: no escrow/ringfencing of the pledge money etc, but now is the time to be pragmatic.

    For PM to survive it will need new investment. For external investors to want/be willing to invest they will have to believe there is a business worth investing in and that can survive if managed and financed to the benefit of all: musicians, paying public, employees and stakeholders.

    The value is in the brand ‘PledgeMusic’ and possibly a little in the tech. If the company is constantly pilloried then the brand becomes toxic and no sane person will invest to an extent sufficient to keep the business operating and to pay all that is owed.

    If the brand is too toxic then the business will go into administration or worse and the artists will get nothing.

    They may have got nothing if the brand hadn’t become so toxic, but constant social media shitstorms will simply not help.

    It is possible that (in the UK) pledgers can get their money back if product doesn’t get delivered to them. They would have to claim under ‘s75’ for credit card transactions or under the ‘chargeback’ scheme for debit card transactions, or card issuers can exercise discretion to refund. However, then the card issuers themselves would be unlikely to recover the monies paid out under those schemes so beyond legal obligations there may be little discretion exercised.

    That will not however help the artists who are probably most in need of the money.

  2. Artist

    Benji Rogers is just a synonym of failure. All of his startups got f*cked up.