Late payments to artists after their campaigns are completed on PledgeMusic continue 8 months after they began. Now powerful music industry pundit Bob Lefsetz has weighed in, after a call from veteran manager Ron Stone. "If you don’t have the money, you shouldn’t be taking new clients," writes Lefsetz.
Hypebot first uncovered the problems at PledgeMusic in June. Artists were, as now, completing successful campaigns on the platform and then having to wait weeks, if not months, to get paid. The money had been pledged by their fans in exchange for music and merchandise. But without the funds, many artists could not afford to manufacture and send the goods; and as Lefsetz writes, the "fans are gonna blame the band, not Pledge. And how is this going to hurt the band’s image?"
PledgeMusic blamed their problems on growth aling with a change in payment processors. The promised to fix things, and the noise died down . Problems reappeared in September when Hypebot was contacted by more artists having trouble getting paid. Since then a steady stream of artists have contact edus. But that were unwilling to go public with their allegations; and all were, to our knowledge, eventually paid.
"Pledge is not only taking advantage of the players,
but stealing their hard-earned cash."
Bob Lefsetz's interest in PledgeMusic began with a call from veteran music manager Ron Stone (Nirvana, Ricky Lee Jones). His band Fastball had been stiffed. "The band was due their 20k on 1/1, Pledge said to wait a while, they’d dribble it out over time. And then when Ron pushed for the money, Pledge went silent, it’s been three weeks now without a return phone call," wrote Lefsetz. "So obviously they don’t have the money."
"It’s one thing to run out of cash, it’s quite another to use other people’s cash to keep the lights on," he continued. "It’d be like a bank blowing all your cash and not telling you until it was gone to boot! Then again, the government protects six figures of investment in banks. Beyond that…they figure you’re sophisticated. Come on, are musicians financially sophisticated? If so, they’d be doing something else. Pledge is not only taking advantage of the players, but stealing their hard-earned cash."
PledgeMusic was founded in 2009. Current active direct-to-fan campaigns on the platform include Insane Cloud Posse, Ladytron and The Dandy Warhols.