×

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.”

 

 

More Music

  • Pop SmokeRolling Loud SOCAL, Los Angeles,

    Rapper Pop Smoke Killed By Masked Gunmen

    Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke was fatally shot Wednesday morning at a home in the Hollywood Hills, law enforcement officials confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. He was 20. Pop Smoke, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was at a residence in California around 4:30 a.m. when two masked men broke into his house, law enforcement sources told [...]

  • Jason Isbell

    Jason Isbell, Maren Morris to Headline Kentucky's Railbird Festival

    Americana favorite Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and country star Maren Morris top a slate of performers just announced for the Railbird Festival, to be held on three stages over two days in August at the Grounds at Keeneland, a renowned race track in Kentucky. The August 22-23, 2020 fest features an unusually eclectic [...]

  • Issa Rae Interview Variety

    Issa Rae’s Raedio Partners With Kobalt for Global Publishing Deal

    Kobalt today announced a worldwide publishing deal with Emmy-nominated actor-producer-writer Issa Rae’s company, Raedio Publishing, LLC. The global partnership with Raedio includes creative and administration services, which includes providing guidance and funding on new Raedio signings, pitch Raedio’s writers, artists and library for synchronization opportunities and provide admin services, according to the announcement. Rae has [...]

  • Pharrell Williams movie musical

    Pharrell, Michele Anthony, Jody Gerson, Jon Platt Join Rock Hall of Fame Foundation Board

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in New York today announced five new members who have joined their Board of Directors: Michele Anthony (Executive Vice President Universal Music Group); Jody Gerson (Chairman & CEO Universal Music Publishing); Pam Kaufman (President ViacomCBS Consumer Products); Jon Platt (Chairman & CEO SONY/ATV Music Publishing); and artist/producer/entrepreneur [...]

  • Elvis Presley 1968 Comeback Special

    'Elvis: That's the Way It Is' Documentary Set for Re-Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    Trafalgar Releasing has set a re-release for the concert documentary “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is” for April 22 in 14 countries, Variety has learned exclusively. The event will mark the 50th anniversary of the film’s original release by MGM. Most of the remastered footage was shot at the International Hotel in Las Vegas with [...]

  • The Weeknd Reveals Album Release Date,

    The Weeknd Reveals Release Date, Album Art for 'After Hours'

    The Weeknd has revealed that his new album, “After Hours,” will be released on March 20. Leading up to the release, the artist, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, will perform on “Saturday Night Live” on March 7, his third appearance on the show. Hear the title track here. The XO / Republic Records full-length [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content