A lot of artists have chosen to go the indie way, some leave their label and start things up themselves, distribution, production etc. others look for an extra buck by getting outside funding. All fine until your funding solution becomes a true nightmare. And that’s exactly what a lot of bands using PledgeMusic are facing including ohGr.
The electro-industrial band ohGr for instance launched a funding campagn via PledgeMusic in 2017 for its fifth full-length album, “TrickS”. Via the service Nivek Ogre wanted to cover recording costs and this by offering exclusive updates an direct pre-sales of the album. 8 months after ohGr’s campaign ended, the band is still waiting for PledgeMusic to pay almost $100,000 in funds. Funds it needs to pay for production of merchandise its fans have already purchased. As a result the only thing that has been available was a digital version of the album on July 18 2018, not really great when you also started a tour without being able to offer the actual album for sale.
ohGr is in the meantime also trying to explain the situation to its funders as you can see below.
As it seems many other bands also face a similar experience. Billboard contact the company who said this: “We accept responsibility for the fact that we have been late on payments over the past year. PledgeMusic is working tirelessly on this issue, and we are asking our community for their continued support and patience.” The problem with PledgeMusic is actually that it invested the funds gathered by band’s back into the company instead of using seperate funds for this. A clear breach of trust as PledgeMusic’s terms and conditions clearly stipulate that funds collected by PledgeMusic for a campaign “will be held on account for the Artist.”
PledgeMusic also released a full statement:
PledgeMusic has always been committed to serving artist and fan communities. It was established by artists and was born of a need to change the way in which the traditional music industry operated. It was designed to help artists and their teams at every level, and we believe that PledgeMusic has become an essential part of the evolving landscape of the music industry.
That said, we deeply regret that recently we have not lived up to the high standards to which PledgeMusic has always held itself. We acknowledge that many artists have and continue to experience payment delays. These delays to artists are unacceptable–not only to them, but to us.
Since its beginning, PledgeMusic has successfully serviced over 45K artists from emerging acts to some of the biggest names in the industry. We’ve supported 60 Grammy-nominated artists and helped springboard 100s of unsigned bands to successful careers. Our efforts have assisted over 375 artists with chart position on the Billboard Top 200. Our platform has provided close to $100m of revenue to its artist community.
Mid 2017, new investors came into PledgeMusic with the goal of strengthening the company and improving the value proposition for artists and fans. After substantial investments in the business over the past 18 months, we believe we have made good progress to that end, but it hasn’t been enough. That said, the company has cut its operating expenses nearly in half over the past year. We’ve overhauled key parts of our financial and operating systems, while adding talent to our roster and making enhancements to the platform like our Vinyl Store, D2C artist store-fronting and our data analytics.
While the company has made progress, we still haven’t reached our goals. PledgeMusic has been in discussions with several strategic players in the industry who have interest in the PledgeMusic platform. We are evaluating a number of transactions with those potential partners, and we plan to announce details of this in the next 60 days. It is our expectation that payments will be brought current within the next 90 days.
We accept responsibility for the fact that we have been late on payments over the past year. PledgeMusic is working tirelessly on this issue, and we are asking our community for their continued support and patience.
A story which is to be continued…