This week Universal Music Canada (UMC) announced that they are using PledgeMusic's unique direct-to-fan platform for their artists. Dubbed a partnership, it's a bit different than the wide range of relationships with service providers for which PledgeMusic is currently known. The announcement is also major validation for the direct-to-fan services company.
PledgeMusic is arguably now one of the leading forces in direct-to-fan services sharing that status with TopSpin Media as well as a wide range of companies focused solely on indie music and DIY artists.
Though some assume that both D2F and crowdfunding, a feature which PledgeMusic offers among its services, is solely the preserve of the indie world, this deal shows that they are simply approaches to doing business that are clearly available to all levels of the game.
In fact, major label-associated artists and businesses began using PledgeMusic's platform at least as early as last summer. For example, a fairly lackluster campaign for a boxed BB King set, a product that would likely have been produced however the campaign turned out, was conducted back in August of 2012.
In a canned quote Universal Music Canada President and CEO Randy Lennox stated:
"As we have seen with the success of The Headstones wonderful new album, PledgeMusic is a vibrant new way of artist discovery...Benji and his Pledge team have developed an artist and music fan-friendly experience and we couldn't be happier to partner our artists and their assets with Pledge's exciting direct-to-fan platforms."
The Headstones' campaign, which achieved funding in late 2012, was another outstandingly successful PledgeMusic campaign that is said to have reached 296% of the intended goal. However the undisclosed nature of the amount raised makes such accomplishments hard to evaluate. Given the nature of marketing on the web, picking a goal that can easily be exceeded will no doubt be employed as a tactic in the future if it's not already in play.
While it's now being described by Glenn Peoples, writing for Billboard.biz, as the "first release of the two companies' partnership," The Headstones' campaign seems to have been conducted long before their somewhat secondary relationship with UMC. FrostByte announced a distribution deal with Universal Music Canada in April and the signing of The Headstones just last month.
Be that as it may, PledgeMusic can now claim another successful step towards becoming not only a leading direct-to-fan company but also one of the companies that is now defining the landscape of the new music industry.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.