×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

PledgeMusic Names New President in Management Shakeup

PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan music company that has fallen behind in payments to artists in recent months, today announced management changes in the wake of Dominic Pandiscia stepping down as CEO. Two of the company’s cofounders will be joining the executive team.

Cofounder Malcolm Dunbar has been elevated to Global President and COO, co-founder Jayce Varden has returned to the company, and Scott Graves has re-joined as president of the North American territory. In a statement, the company officially confirmed Pandiscia’s departure and that of “key members of the finance team.” No details on a new CEO were available at press time and it seems in light of Dunbar’s promotion, the company may not name one.

The company’s new financial team is under the leadership of Richard Vinchesi, a partner at Sword, Rowe & Company, one of PledgeMusic’s larger investors. The statement says, “The incoming financial team is putting in place a more rigorous infrastructure to underpin the company’s growth initiatives, which include further development of the D-to-C platform, a Vinyl Store and new advertising functionality scheduled for early 2019.

The company also says it has obtained a commitment from Lyric Financial in an effort to “improve its financial resources and processes,” the statement continues, saying “The Nashville-based company is working with PledgeMusic to help expand its working capital and improve payable processing.”

It also says, “Artists should be on the lookout for a more user-friendly backend and additional tools to better manage their campaigns including an upgraded payment system, real time analysis of campaigns and greater transparency. The rollout begins in the upcoming weeks.”

The company, which is designed as a marketplace where serious music fans can help artists to fund their recordings and other projects — and in return receive everything from vinyl to personal visits — has faced challenges in paying artists in recent months, as revealed by Variety in June, falling behind in amounts “in the middle five figures.” While sources tell Variety that some of those artists have been paid — particularly the ones who spoke with the press or complained on social media — reports have emerged that others still haven’t been paid.

Lyric founder and CEO Eli Ball said in the statement, “I have been a fan of PledgeMusic since its inception. I am excited about the moves the company is making to reorganize in

order to better serve the artist and fan communities. Lyric Financial is proud to be a partner with PledgeMusic. We look forward to supporting them as they continue to grow their world-class platform.”

In June, Pandiscia acknowledged that the company had fallen behind in payments but stressed that the company was addressing the issue: “It’s understood that certain customers may have been unhappy over the last six months. The company has had some difficulty dealing with a larger volume of campaigns. The intention is to add value in every situation, and there is some work ahead to achieve that. 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. The team has been strengthened and is addressing any concerns as the company grows.”

Pledge essentially aims to be a cross between a traditional crowdfunding site and a label-services company: Fans can contribute to recording costs (“crowdfunding”) as well as “pre-order” recorded product, merchandise (T-shirts, caps, etc.) and experiences (ranging from personalized phone calls to performances at fans’ homes), and are then updated on the artist’s progress via photos, videos, blog posts and ultimately the finished products, ideally building a community of superfan/small-business investor hybrids in the process. For this, Pledge takes a flat 15% fee of the money raised for crowdfunding campaigns (but only if the artist reaches their financial goal) and for pre-orders, and promises a fair revenue split and quick payment.

While the service has worked well for some artists — Melissa Etheridge, the Flaming Lips, Lindsey Stirling and Bring Me the Horizon are featured on its website —  it has faced challenges in the past few months.

More Music

  • Madonna Releases "Medellín" Music Video: Watch

    Madonna Drops a Sexy and Surreal Video for 'Medellín'

    It’s no surprise that the elaborate “Madame X” concept surrounding Madonna’s forthcoming album of the same name is beginning to make more sense with the release of the video from the album’s first single. It elaborates on the album’s themes, which she previous aired in a series of Instagram clips (check them out for yourself [...]

  • This combination photo shows, from left,

    Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande Address Coachella Lip-Sync Controversy

    When Justin Bieber joined Ariana Grande on stage at the Coachella Festival Sunday night to perform his hit “Sorry,” there was little doubt in anyone’s mind about whether it was completely live, especially after both made a point of mentioning that he’d showed up with no intention of performing and there’d been no rehearsal. Fans [...]

  • Lizzo Coachella Valley Music and Arts

    Lizzo Joins Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez in Stripper Film 'Hustlers'

    After the release of her third album and a pair of high-profile Coachella performances, Lizzo announced today that she will be joining Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez in the stripper-themed film “Hustlers.” Based on a true story, the film focuses on strippers who band together to turn the tables on their wealthy Wall Street male [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby in Park

    Cameron Crowe on Putting 'the Most Colorful Life Ever,' David Crosby's, on Screen

    Cameron Crowe jokes that David Crosby is following his career path. The star’s frankness and tell-it-like-it-is demeanor has resulted in Rolling Stone magazine’s invitation to set up the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s next act as a rock Dear Abby of sorts with his new column: “Ask Croz.” “Isn’t that great?” says Crowe, the Oscar-winning [...]

  • Childish Gambino 'Pharos" AR App Launches

    Childish Gambino Releases 'Pharos' AR App for Android Phones

    Childish Gambino is taking his “Pharos” multimedia franchise to a new platform: Donald Glover’s alter ego released a “Pharos” augmented reality (AR) app for Android phones Wednesday morning, with an iOS version forthcoming at a later time. The app allows users to open up an AR portal in their living room (or where ever else [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Sued by India’s Oldest Label, Will Remove Catalog From Platform

    Just weeks after Spotify launched in India without securing rights from Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, it is being sued by the country’s oldest record label, Saregama, and will remove that company’s 120,000-song catalog from its platform within 10 days, according to reports in Inc42 and Music Business Worldwide. The streaming giant had approached the label for [...]

  • DJ Mormile and Jeff Burroughs Def

    Def Jam Appoints DJ Mormile, Jeff Burroughs to Senior Posts

    Def Jam Recordings has appointed industry veterans DJ Mormile and Jeff Burroughs (pictured above, right and left, respectively) to senior executive roles in its Los Angeles and New York offices, respectively. The announcement was made today by label Chairman & CEO Paul Rosenberg. Mormile — the L.A.-based manager who counts producer Mike Will Made It and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content