Though widely considered a crowdfunding or fan funding platform, PledgeMusic says they're a platform for direct to fan campaigns. The latest news, their deal with RCA Records and Raw Power Management to provide direct-to-fan presale options for Bring Me The Horizon's 4th album, is certainly an illustration of their position. The new album, "Sempiternal," will be released on April 29, 2013.
Today PledgeMusic announce their partnership with RCA Records, Raw Power Management and UK-based metal band Bring Me The Horizon. PledgeMusic is providing presale capabilities for a 4-week preorder campaign that "launches this week in the UK and will be rolled out into other territories in the near future":
"Bring Me The Horizon are offering fans an exclusive 4-week window to pre-order the album directly from the bands website...and access to exclusive content. This is the first time that PledgeMusic has worked with a band and major label to offer a direct-to-fan pre-sale campaign via the artists own website."
Clearly a 4 week presale campaign for artists on a major label is not a crowdfunding or fan funding campaign. As PledgeMusic's Managing Director Malcolm Dunbar states, this effort is about the "power of direct-to-fan engagement and the need to incentivise and reward fans in the lead up to such a major release."
I have to admit I was initially somewhat puzzled by PledgeMusic's rejection of crowdfunding and fan funding as relevant terms, even when I proposed that they were using crowdfunding as a feature of their D2F platform during my interview with CEO Benji Rogers.
Now I have to say I'm a bit confused by this announcement. The press release states that Bring Me The Horizon's presale campaign is being conducted on their official website. When you go to the site you'll see that they're promoting the presale on their homepage which takes you to what is essentially a widget or embedded version of the campaign page on PledgeMusic.
If you click on the link to pre-order the album or any of the premium merch offerings on Bring Me The Horizon's site, they all direct you back to an order form on PledgeMusic. But they don't direct you back to PledgeMusic's campaign page which looks nicer, has audio samples, additional info on the band and a social component with pledgers identified as well as a comments section.
So the "groundbreaking" part seems to be that this is the first major label act to use a PledgeMusic widget on their own site.
The weird thing is most companies that repeatedly attempt to position themselves as doing something other than what they are actually doing tend to be abject failures. But I think PledgeMusic is one of the most important music tech, artist services company in the game. If they were a music crowdfunding platform they would be the leading player.
And maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe I should view PledgeMusic not as a company whose marketing is kind of off the mark but as I would a successful musician who rejects genre labels even though his or her music is clearly in a particular genre. Like such musicians, PledgeMusic has already proven themselves so they can say whatever they want about what they do and keep building to higher levels because they're so good at what they do.
It's an interesting marketing puzzle for me and I'm curious if Hypebot readers think I'm the one that's off the mark.
[Note: Earlier this week I wrote about music tech companies' partnerships as a noteworthy trend and have since added a list of PledgeMusic's partners and affiliates in the comments as a footnote.]
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) also blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM) and All World Dance: Videos. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.