Few failures have had a more direct impact on the indie music community than the recent demise of PledgeMusic, not only for those owed millions of dollars, but also for the many others who had come to rely on the platform for pre-sales and fundraising. In recent days, a variety of sources has accused the PledgeMusic board of being at the root of the failure. Here David Lowery takes his own critical look.
Music sampling startup Tracklib has raised $1.7 million. The new funding for the Stockholm based company was led by the Sony Innovation Fund, WndrCo and Jörg Mohaupt, an early-stage investor who also has stakes in Discogs and Amuse.
Sofar Sounds has announced $25 million in new funding led by Battery Ventures and Union Square Ventures with participation from existing investors Octopus Ventures and Virgin Group. That brings total investments in Sofar to $31 million. Three months ago, former Spotify and The Echo Nest executive Jim Luccesse was name Sofar CEO.
While many artists view crowdfunding as their ticket to music industry success, recent events like the PledgeMusic train wreck may have them second guessing the concept. That said, crowdfunding can still be effective if you know what you're doing. Here, we look at the truth behind five commonly believed crowdfunding myths.
Music WorX Accelerator 2019, the start-up funding program of the German Ministry of Culture and the Media and the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, is accepting applications. Music WorX Accelerator helps music and music tech founders from all over Europe.
Where Was the Board? Reflections On Potential Legal Issues In PledgeMusic “Administration” Bankruptcy
In the wake of PledgeMusic's recent implosion and almost total silence in response to the issue, attorney and artist advocate Chris Castle takes a moment to share some thoughts on the failed crowdfunding platform's bankruptcy, and where they're headed from here.
Nashville music tech startup Soundstripe has closed a $4 million Series A financing round led by Vocap Investment Partners. Soundstrip offers subscription based royalty-free music micro-licences to YouTubers, advertisers and other video creators.
With the news that crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic is entering Administration, the UK equivalent of bankruptcy, music marketing veterans Michael Brandvold and Jay Gilbert of the Music Biz Weekly podcast explore what went wrong, was it means for artists and the future of music crowdfunding.
The demise of PledgeMusic and the hundreds of musicians left in its wake are a sadly familiar story for music industry veteran Dave Cool of Bandzoogle. "The company takes on millions in investment to support rapid growth," writes Cool. "Flashy headlines ensue." But when things fall apart, too often it's the unsuspecting musicians that suffer.
UPDATED: UK Music CEO Michael Dugher is leading a music industry campaign demanding that Small Business and Consumer Minister Kelly Tolhurst refer PledgeMusic to watchdogs at the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.
As news that PledgeMusic was declaring the UK equivalent of bankruptcy, reaction was swift and almost universally negative. Many blamed PledgeMusic's management and board of directors. "I honestly don't know how they sleep at night," said veteran music marketer Jay Gilbert.
PledgeMusic co-founder and former CEO Benji Rogers penned an open letter after it was announced that the troubled crowdfunder would be filling for bankruptcy. "I went back into PledgeMusic just over three months ago as a volunteer to try and help the board and team turn around and sell the company," said Rogers, "but I am sad to report that this effort has not met with success and that PledgeMusic will shortly be heading into administration."
As an independent artist, there's a lot to be learned from the startup world in relation to how you manage your career. here Kedar Frederic illustrates some valuable principles from startup culture, and how artists can effectively integrate them with their careers.
PledgeMusic.com Limited is in pre-administration, the UK version of a pre-bankruptcy, sale or reorganization, sources tell Hypebot. But as we previously reported, there is also still an active potential buyer. A confidential email leaked by DMN, which purports to offers potential buyers a look at PledgeMusic's assets and financials, only tells a small part of the story.
In many ways, being an artist is harder now than it's ever been, and the path to music industry success is crowded with obstacles. Streaming services have taken note of this challenge however, and several of them have been working to put programs in place designed to help emerging artists succeed.
UPDATED: Spotify's monthly active users grew 26% over the last year to 217 million at the end of 2018, the streamer reported on Monday. Now in 79 countries, a February launch in India added 2 million to its global total. Overall, Spotify posted a smaller first-quarter loss of $158 million vs $189 million for the same period last year.
Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) will share its first quarter 2019 financial results this morning before the market opens. It is the first report to investors since the streamer's big bet on podcasting with the acquisition of Gimlet Media and Anchor.
K-Pop is certainly having a moment as far as its Stateside popularity goes, but will South Korean pop music's recent surge in popularity in the US translate to more than just flash in the pan, and develop into longterm sustainable popularity?
Snapchat's user base is finally growing again, though not dramatically enough for investors. The social channel added 4 million daily active users last quarter, marking its first gain in a year. Snapchat now has 190 million DAUs, up from 186 million at the end of 2018.
In this piece, Jake Udell reflects on the how music companies are increasingly converging to become the same thing as they try to wear a growing number of hats in an effort to remain relevant in a rapidly changing industry.
Last week, we reported that some artists affected by the demise of PledgeMusic became hopeful they would be made whole after receiving emails touting "negotiations the board is having with a potential buyer." It now appears that is was just the latest in a series of empty promises from the crowdfunder.
UPDATE: Spotify stock closed down 4.42% Monday on news that Amazon was close to launching a free ad-supported music service. With the exception of Pandora's radio-like free offering, no other major streamer offers a free music service. Details and analysis here.
In this piece, artist manager Jake Udell analyzes his personal experience of overvaluing his own success, and looks at why too much personal confidence and a failure to rely on others can compromise one's ability to succeed in the music business.
[UPDATED] During his daily Mad Money Lightening Round Thursday, CNBC host Jim Cramer gave a very positive shout out to Spotify. "I think it's only a matter of time before subscriptions take over," said Cramer. "This is a good one." But the former hedge fund manager's stock picking track record is mixed.
It has been more than two months since PledgeMusic suspended all crowdfunding campaigns on the platform, leaving hundreds of artists unpaid. But a PledgeMusic staffer is now telling former clients that the company is in negotiations with a potential buyer.
PledgeMusic has not offered an update to the hundreds of musicians and thousands of fans affected by the crowdfunder's inability to pay creators the funds that fans had pledged. Even the rumor mill is almost silent.