×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

PledgeMusic Nearing Bankruptcy, Although Sale Talks Continue

Although an interested buyer continues to circle the troubled direct-to-fan music marketplace PledgeMusic, the company is in pre-administration — the U.K. equivalent of pre-bankruptcy — sources close to the situation confirms to Variety. While the source notes that the company is not yet in administration, it is likely if a buyer does not emerge by the end of this week.

A private email from the “proposed” administrators, the U.K.-based FRP Advisory firm, leaked by Digital Music News, says the company is “seeking expressions of interest in the business and assets of the Group … ahead of an administration process.” A source close to the situation tells Variety that the email may have been leaked by someone attempting to kill the sale of PledgeMusic in order to get a cheaper deal on certain assets.

Reps for Pledge and FRP did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.

The letter notes, as has been stated by Pledge, that all projects and campaigns have been suspended and there are no employees on the payroll, although a small number of former employees have remained on-board as consultants. “With the right support and backing, the platform and e-commerce services are available to be switched back on, including the pre-sale, marketing, and distribution digital media, merchandise, memorabilia and exclusive experiences.” Assets include all technical aspects of the platform, infrastructure, trademarks and domain names.

It notes that expressions of interest are being sought by 4 p.m. (GMT) Thursday.

PledgeMusic subsidiary Noisetrade was sold to Paste Media for an undisclosed sum, which brings some money into the company, although clearly not enough to salvage it.

It should be noted that a buyer of PledgeMusic would be taking on the debts owed creditors, which include artists who launched programs with the company and owed money, which is estimated to be as much as $3 million total (here’s a small list of how much certain artists were owed, as of February). As the company has demonstrated in the past, tends to go to the most prominent, or at least the loudest, artists affected.

Last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay artists, and its problems have snowballed in recent weeks, with hundreds if not more artists unpaid. The company is in triage mode: Founder Benji Rogers, who left the company in 2016, returned on a temporary, unpaid basis last month in an effort to stabilize the situation. While his return was greeted with relief by many in the artist community, the company advised all artists to suspend their campaigns shortly after his arrival (many already had). Beyond the recommendation to suspend artist campaigns, the company has not commented on its recent challenges beyond a statement late in January, in which it said, “It is our expectation that payments will be brought current within the next 90 days.”

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Ric Ocasek'The Imitation Game' film premiere,

    Ric Ocasek’s Cause of Death Revealed, Paulina Porizkova Posts Touching Note

    Cars frontman Ric Ocasek died of cardiovascular disease, according to an autopsy report released Monday by the New York City medical examiner’s office cited by Yahoo News and other outlets. More specifically, the cause was hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, also called atherosclerosis, which is an accumulation of plaque in the arteries that can weaken [...]

  • Megan Thee StallionMegan Thee Stallion in

    Megan Thee Stallion Confirms She's Collaborating With Kehlani on Next Album (EXCLUSIVE)

    Hip-hop’s It Girl of the summer, Megan Thee Stallion, has exclusively told Variety that she’s collaborating with Kehlani and a few other famous ladies on her next album. The rapper, who dropped a video for her song of the season “Hot Girl Summer” earlier this month, was asked by Variety on the red carpet at Rihanna’s annual [...]

  • Schoolboy Q

    ScHoolboy Q Reveals ‘CrasH’ Tour Dates

    Top Dawg Entertainment recording artist ScHoolboy Q today announced dates for his next jaunt across the country, the CrasH Tour 2019. Special guest NAV will join on select dates; dates appear in full below Produced by Live Nation, the 19-city tour will kick off November 4 in Houston and make stops in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Toronto, Chicago, and more [...]

  • United Talent Agency Reveals New Logo

    UTA Unveils New Logo, Corporate Image

    UTA raised the curtain Monday on a new corporate logo. The three-dimensional image is meant to emphasize the talent agency’s focus on uniting ideas, opportunities and talent. Building signage with the new logo will go up next month at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. “Our new identity captures the multiple facets and intersections of our [...]

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Taylor Swift Joins 'The Voice' Season 17 as a Mentor

    Taylor Swift is returning to “The Voice” as a mega mentor in the upcoming 17th season of the NBC singing competition series. The “Blank Space” singer will offer advice to each team of artists as they prepare for the knockout rounds in the show. Coaches John Legend and Blake Shelton took to Instagram to share [...]

  • Ric Ocasek and Alice Cooper 1989Ric

    Seven Times Ric Ocasek Surprised Us, From 'Hairspray' to Bad Brains

    In a universe of strong and eccentric personalities, Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, who died Sunday at the age of 75, was certainly – and happily – an odd bird. By most accounts he was quite friendly in person, yet Ocasek, 75, always seemed distant and aloof, as if he was as hermetically sealed off from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content