Merchandiser Bandwear is expanding its music crowdfunding service with an offer to help artists affected by the demise of PledgeMusic. The merchandiser will rebuild their campaigns and online stores at no cost, along an offer of discounted manufacturing and fulfillment.
Other artists can also launch a crowdfunding campaign on Bandwear for a one time $99 setup fee. The company warehouses the music and merch, and handles all fulfillment for 20%, with the fan paying shipping costs. PledgeMusic took a 15% commission, but the artist or label were responsible for fulfillment and shipping costs. Bandwear also offers manufacturing services.
Recent Bandwear campaigns include Frontiers Records and platinum-selling alternative rock bands 311 and Blue October.
PledgeMusic-like Staggered Payouts
Much like with PledgeMusic, Bandwear payments are staggered: 40% paid 30 days after campaign launch, 30% paid when the bulk of fulfillment starts and 30% paid when all items are fulfilled. When PledgeMusic was still paying artists, its initial payments ranged from 51-60%, depending on the type of campaign, with another 25% paid when the first download was released, and the balance paid 2 weeks after the last item shipped.
PledgeMusic reportedly left artists owed more than a million dollars by using funds paid by fans to run its own day to day business. Much like PledgeMusic, the Bandwear FAQ and User Agreement contain no guarantee that the funds paid by fans are held in escrow for the artist. In addition to fans funds, all physical goods are held and distributed by Bandwear, leaving the artist and labels potentially more vulnerable.
Bandwear Owed "Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars"
Bandwear is an established company with a history of serving artists. "Thanks to Bandwear we’re running an impactful and efficient 311 new album pre-order campaign." says Peter Raspler, Manager @ YMU Group for 311. "Bandwear is well-versed in the d2c process and has done an admirable job in running our store page, sharing our content, handling all customer-service correspondence, and providing product fulfillment in a professional and diligent manner.”
But like hundreds of artists, Bandwear also took a major hit when PledgeMusic went under. As a longtime fulfillment partner for PledgeMusic, the merchandiser admits to being left with "hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of unpaid invoices."
After the collapse of PledgeMusic, crowdfunding expert Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR said, "The worst part is it breaks the trust that fans have with their favorite artists and musicians work very hard to create those bonds. Sadly it will make many hesitate before supporting other crowdfunding campaigns."
As Bandwear and others offer new alternatives to PledgeMusic, fans, artists and labels are all left asking who they should and should not trust.
Hypebot has reached out to Bandwear for comment.