PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that suspended operations in February, owing hundreds of artists money for unfulfilled campaigns, took its site offline on Thursday. While the service had promised that artists would be able to access their user data, that information is currently unavailable. In a message posted late last week, the company said the data will be available again “soon.” PledgeMusic went into administration — the equivalent of bankruptcy for British-based companies — several weeks ago.
Reps for the company did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for an update; sources close to the situation said attempts to extract information from the company’s board have been unsuccessful.
“To the Artists and Fans of PledgeMusic,” the message reads. “As many of you know, PledgeMusic suspended operations a number of months ago and the site is now offline. The company continues to work with outside counsel on the most appropriate next steps, and we will update you with those specifics as we get more information.
“All data has been preserved and a notice with next steps will be posted on here shortly.”
A source told Variety in May that artists can apply to become official creditors when administrator is named, although the status of that process is unclear. Once the company goes into administration, its assets presumably will be sold off to the highest bidders, but it seems unlikely that there will be enough money to cover the entire amount owed to artists, which sources estimate is between $1 million and $3 million — in short, many artists probably never will receive the money that is owed to them. The assets were detailed in a leaked letter from a company that may be its administrator. Variety was the first to report the company’s legal troubles, and in subsequent articles detailed how artists of all stripes were being impacted.
Led by cofounder Benji Rogers — who left Pledge in 2016 when it was thriving, and returned early this year in an ultimately futile attempt to salvage it — the company was holding out hope that it might find a buyer until May, when the primary candidate pulled out and administration became inevitable. Sources have told Variety that some questionable business decisions by the management team that succeeded Rogers caused the company to fall into financial peril, from which it never emerged.