If you are an artist looking to raise money for your next project, there are a few sources on the web. Kickstarter may be the most famous, but it is for anyone to raise money for a project there. PledgeMusic has been a place for musicians to raise money to launch new albums, merch and other projects. However it has come under fire for late payments to artists when they need the money and lack of transparency over a crumbling financial situation.
In a lengthy Billboard report, several artists have come out with new accusations of delayed and incomplete payment by PledgeMusic. This follows other reports by artists in the past year to Variety and Hypebot. Electro-industrial band ohGr, led by former Skinny Puppy members Nivek Ogre and Mark Walk, say they are owed nearly $100,000 on a campaign with payments delayed for eight months, which caused them to delay indefinitely a physical release of their album and not bring any copies on tour. 90s rock outfit Fastball say they are owed over $21,000. Instrumental world music band Incendio claim a first installment of $3,300 is now more than four months late, but requests for payment have been ignored. Singer-songwriter Mike Evin says he is owed $2,900 on a project that closed a month ago. There are more examples.
One anonymous former employee spoke to Billboard, saying that the company did not hold artist money in separate accounts and instead invested it back into the company. As their financial situation worsened, this got worse.
PledgeMusic has released a lengthy statement about the payment delays. “We deeply regret that recently we have not lived up to the high standards to which PledgeMusic has always held itself. We acknowledge that many artists have and continue to experience payment delays. These delays to artists are unacceptable--not only to them, but to us.”
“Since its beginning, PledgeMusic has successfully serviced over 45K artists from emerging acts to some of the biggest names in the industry. We've supported 60 Grammy-nominated artists and helped springboard 100s of unsigned bands to successful careers. Our efforts have assisted over 375 artists with chart position on the Billboard Top 200. Our platform has provided close to $100m of revenue to its artist community.”
The company says it will announce details with partners in 60 days will bring payments current in 90. For some artists that is too late and the trust with the company may be broken completely.