×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’ Although a Potential Buyer Is in the Wings

PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that has faced serious financial troubles in recent months, is down to a “skeleton staff” and payroll in the U.S. office ceased within the last month, sources close to the situation tell Variety, although a potential buyer is “very interested” in the company and has been in due diligence for several weeks. The identity of the buyer was unclear at press time.

A rep for PledgeMusic declined Variety‘s request for comment.

While the company — a direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts — operated successfully for several years, last June Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay artists. Its problems have snowballed in recent weeks, with hundreds if not more artists owed thousands of dollars, many in five figures. On Jan. 24, the company issued a statement saying, “It is our expectation that payments will be brought current within the next 90 days,” yet as that deadline approaches, few artists say they have been paid. In February, Variety published a brief overview of what several artists are owed, but that seems to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Judging by conversations and social media posts from affected artists, the situation has not improved in recent weeks, with calls to the company from many artists going unanswered. However, the company’s last post on its website referred artists to its helpdesk to help resolve problems, noting that “Any communication outside of this channel will not be tracked and therefore issues will take longer to get to and be harder to resolve.”

In January, cofounder Benji Rogers, who left the company in 2016, returned on a temporary, unpaid basis 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 the above statement.

 

 

 

 

More Music

  • Pete Buttigieg Show Business Donations

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg Is Totally Up for Booking Phish for His Inauguration

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign seems to be going Phish-ing… in the best possible sense. (Unless you just hate the band Phish so much there is no best possible sense.) The Democratic presidential candidate has previously indicated his love for the group, and when a reporter suggested Phish play at his theoretical swearing-in festivities in 2021, [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Nicki MinajCFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner,

    Nicki Minaj Parts Ways With Longtime Managers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nicki Minaj has parted ways with Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant and Blueprint/ Maverick Management, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. She had worked with the pair for the majority of her career. The source says the decision was mutual and amicable, and there was no specific reason for the split, adding [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

  • Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Short

    Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Partnership With New Shoes and Short Films (Watch)

    Donald Glover and Adidas Originals today announced Donald Glover Presents, a creative partnership that unveiled a new line of shoes and a series of brief — and very funny — films to accompany them. (Watch them below.) Donald Glover Presents reimagines threeAadidas styles, the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe. The shoes feature uneven [...]

  • Cypress Hill Walk of Fame Honor

    For Cypress Hill, Stoned Is the Way of the Walk of Fame

    The skunky smell is a familiar one. Inside the Cypress Hill tour bus, a thick cloud of smoke billows in the air. It’s the Los Angeles hip-hop group’s 30th year and they’re being rewarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6201 Hollywood Blvd.). They’ll probably refer to it as their Hollyweed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content