PledgeMusic Debacle Update [Iain Baker of Jesus Jones]
Guest post by Iain Baker from Music Technology Policy
[We’re pleased to provide a platform for Iain Baker of Jesus Jones to update MTP readers on the slow motion train wreck called Pledge Music. This has turned into a real financial crisis for artists and their vendors as well as the fans.]
We are still no nearer a resolution, it would seem. And it feels like they’re running down the clock. Artists are told to dial back any criticism of Pledge, in order to make it easier to sell the company. The inference here is that it’s our fault if this process doesn’t progress smoothly.
"the longer this all goes on,
and the more urgent it becomes for artists"
Well, the longer this all goes on, and the more urgent it becomes for artists to pay bills and replace money that PLEDGE took from them, the more I just feel like saying: Well, was it my fault that the company seems to have been basically insolvent in 2016? Was it my fault the company never told anyone about that? Was it artists that oversaw a culture of financial mismanagement? Did artists offer huge wages for people to come in and try and turn Pledge into an “industry leader”?
I can’t help feeling we’re being kept in the dark, and fed horseshit. And we’re not the ones who caused any of the problems–the only thing we’re responsible for is helping the company thrive. Pledge has a beautiful set of offices in a prime central London location, and it feels like they’re sitting around a conference table, trying to save their careers, while the artists are stood outside in the rain with our noses pressed up against the windows, hoping they’ll help us out [with the artists’ own money].
None of these problems were caused by us, yet we’re the ones being made to wait, made to pay, made to struggle. If nothing else, this situation is profoundly unfair.
"continued lack of transparency"
Pledge’s continued lack of transparency makes it even harder for the artistic community. We’re more than stakeholders in this – the company thrived on the backs of all the hard work that artists put in
And of course, it’s a slap in the face for all of the fans that engaged with the artists and provided the cold hard cash to make this thing fly.
Business is an equation – a system that should be in a state of balance. Pledge allowed this to spin out of control, and they forgot about the people that made it all work. That’s you, and it’s me.
Now, as they try to make it all work – shouldn’t they be trying to balance the equation? To ensure everyone feels like a valued part of the business? Well, hands up anyone who thinks that’s the case, right now.