PledgeMusic, a direct-to-fan music platform, has come under fire for failing to pay musicians who used their website to raise money in the past year, according to Pitchfork. Multiple artists have come forward, claiming that the platform ows them thousands of dollars.
In a piece by Colin Stutz for Billboard, many artists shared their stories regarding the platform. For example, ohGr, led by Nivek Ogre and Mark Walk, formerly of Skinny Puppy, claim they are owed almost $100,000. Fastball, a rock band from the 90s, say they are owed over $21,000.
In light of Stutz article, PledgeMusic released a statement to Billboard. The statement, in full, reads:
“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.”
This issue with Pledgemusic arose last June, when Variety published a story detailing artists’ concerns about overdue payments. CEO Dominic Pandiscia, who stepped down in September 2018, said at the time, “With respect to payments, there have certainly been payment delays, but the company has always paid artists and should be completely caught up in the near future.”