The British Music Industry Bands Together to Help PledgeMusic Artists

When crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic imploded, many independent artists were left without their promised cash.

The failed company is currently in administration, the UK equivalent of bankruptcy.  It’s estimated that the company owes musicians between $1 million and $3 million.

After nearly a year of promising to pay artists their hard-earned cash “within 90 days,” cofounder Benji Rogers and his executive team penned a ‘heartfelt’ letter several weeks ago.

I cannot begin to appreciate how all of you affected artists are feeling about this and I am deeply sorry for what you have been through….

The company will go into administration at some point this week or early next, which means that any funds received for the assets of Pledge will be distributed to all of the creditors involved.

The decision to enter bankruptcy came after Rogers and his team failed to find a buyer (and, according to Variety, that was partially our fault).

PledgeMusic had operated as a platform meant to channel fan contributions directly to artists.  However, the company’s poor mismanagement of musicians’ hard-earned cash led PledgeMusic to hoard money to keep its sinking operation afloat.

Reaching out to Digital Music News, a former employee explained that top executives and management staff also used fans’ cash to pay for luxurious offices and also lied to employees.

Employees were promised promotions and raises, which never happened.  The payment issues started when PayPal dropped crowdfunding sites, and employees were told that is what should be told to artists.  After a year of delayed payments, and PayPal clearly not being the culprit, employees started to put the pieces together.

Now, with legal action on the horizon for Rogers and his PledgeMusic team, multiple music organizations have banded together to help affected artists.

How PledgeMusic inadvertently united the UK music industry.

UK Music, the MMF, AIM, FAC, MPG, BPI, Musicians’ Union, the Ivors Academy, Help Musicians UK, Music Support, the PRS Foundation, and the PRS Members’ Fund have worked together to analyze the true impact of PledgeMusic’s closure.

In a joint statement, the UK trade bodies and music charities explained that they aim to help struggling indie artists.

As organizations who want to see the music industry thrive, we’re deeply disappointed that PledgeMusic has announced its bankruptcy leaving artists and fans out of pocket and with little communication or advice on how to deal with campaign disruption.

In a survey published online, the British music industry hopes that artists will share how they were truly impacted.

The…music industry organizations have come together to assess the damage caused by the collapse of PledgeMusic.  We have put together this survey in order to find out how many artists in the UK have lost money and what the impact has been for them.

Artists have until June 25th, 2019 to fill out the survey, which includes optional questions.  The organizations and charities hope stiffed musicians will give “as much information” as they can to “build a full picture of the impact of PledgeMusic folding.”

And if you’re in the US?  As usual, you’re on your own, kid.

You can view the survey here.



5 Responses

  1. Shlomo the Truth

    the last line in the article is the most telling- US you’re on your own kid. Nobody gives a shit. artists are a dime a dozen. labels never cared. you’re replaceable. you get screwed and don’t have the means to fight back. you get robbed and continue to bend over. hey that’s the music biz is what they say. it’s not our fault. what do you mean, we stole your money? doesn’t matter if its label, publisher, RIAA, tech company- doesn’t matter- same story, same excuse.

    Not sure why the UK wants artists to tell their side of the story. Are they doing a documentary? What’s the fucking point? Just help them. They got ripped off. We want to understand how this affected artists. They need the full picture. LOL. Pledge execs should go to jail especially Domenick the donkey. They won’t.

    • deepfreeze

      Yeah Mo, unfortunately, you’re probably a lot closer to the truth than they are……

  2. Kenneth Higney

    The British music industry did not “band together to help”, they just got together to push more paper. If they really wanted to help the stiffed artists, the dozen listed entities (and more members of the “British music industry”) should simply (and legally) get the list of artists owed and pay them out of pocket. A tax write off I am sure; but more importantly,an act of kindness, a helping hand and a true unification of “the industry”. There is enough money laying around “the industry’ to cover the cost of paying all artists what is due. Enough “looking into” the matter. What needs to be done – and what should be done – is the paying of money stolen from artists and their fans. “Helping” is not paperwork – helping is actually doing something to help. Get on with it. Support the artists – don’t just give them lip service. This, of course, also goes for the U.S. music industry. Show some heart and forget the bottom line once in a while.

  3. Sam@Projekt

    The Brits came out with guns blazing…. and provided a survey.
    Well, problem solved, I say!
    : P

  4. Sherlock Holmes

    Hi. I am in Britain, and I have spent the last week informally investigating Pledge filed documents with UK authorities. I am convinced that UK Pledge has been a fraud from the start, although I might be persuaded that until 2013 it was just incompetently managed. The company has shown contempt for UK regulatory filing requirements. It is not just musicians that have been shafted – the company has raised cash from share (stock) issues, probably via crowdfunding schemes, from punters that were never going to see a return. I believe that there should be an investigation, but I don’t think that will happen in the UK – our regulators will only act if they are forced to. That means collecting evidence and building the case. I would like to make contact with anyone who may have relevant evidence, especially from anyone who invested in shares in Pledge in the UK. I have not given my real name, but DMN will have my email and I hope that they may facilitate contact. Thank you.