Pledge Music Not Paying the Artists.
THE PLEDGEMUSIC SITUATION AND HOW INCENDIO WILL MOVE FORWARD – Hello everyone. There has been an unfortunate incident affecting Incendio, some of our closest friend-bands, and many musicians around the world. Pledgemusic has essentially kept our/your pledge money. This is how the story unfolds – but rest assured, our release schedule (still slated for late Spring) will still be kept. Please let us explain.
The money that so many of you graciously donated last year to support our upcoming release has not thus far been paid to the band. The first installment was owed in mid-September. We, just like many other bands, did our research and found that Pledgemusic was possibly the leading platform at the time to assist musical artists in raising money (or crowdfunding) from their fans base to fund new projects. It was only as we launched in spring of last year that our good friend Lao Tizer began to tell us of problems in being paid. Little did we or anyone else know that the cracks were widening alarmingly at Pledgemusic.
Our friends in HuDost later in summer 2018 began telling us of very serious Pledgemusic payment problems after their campaign. The group had also not felt (as we did) that the coaching and support promised in exchange for the 15% commission that Pledgemusic was not to the level they had promised. After repeated emails and a Hypebot article (https://www.hypebot.com/…/pledgemusic-payment-problems-cont…), it still took months for HuDost to receive their first installment. We were supposed to receive our first installment as of September 21 – Pledgemusic has not sent us a dime.
The main campaign manager there (who handled us and HuDost) has been stalling and giving us stock answers. She actually denied this, but the bands now sharing information have yielded her very similar responses to different bands, along with the inevitable “kicking it to upper management” email – it seems she was utilized by her bosses to keep the “complainers” at bay for as long as possible. Our requests to get OUR money even after being pushed to “upper management”, save for one token non-committal email, have gone unanswered. We did eventually threaten to go to social media. Right around this time, we were contacted by Billboard Magazine, and our story was included in an article by Colin Stutz, who managed to gather info on a number of bands who were/are going through the same thing.
On Tuesday January 22, the Lefsetz Letter (a well-known music business website) detailed the rock group Fastball’s problems with Pledgemusic, and many bands responded that they too were going through the same thing:
https://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2019/01/22/pledge-music/ (update: the extensive list of band responses to the Lefsetz article now do not appear in the archived article).
On Thursday January 24, as Jim, JP and I were attending NAMM, Mr. Stutz’s article in Billboard came out: https://www.billboard.com/…/pledgemusic-crowdfunding-owes-a…. Not only have we not been paid, but the folks at Pledgemusic, in the face of their CEO quitting in October and their own promise to right their ship, have been rude, glib and dismissive in their remarks to us and so many other artists.
Pledge Music is a holding company. They were supposed to hold the money for their artists as they hit their goals and premiums were delivered. This is not what they did. We do not know what they have done with the money they collected on our behalf and on behalf of so many others, but they DEFINITELY did not deliver it to the artists. So not only have they taken money from the artists that they needed to make their albums, but they have also basically stolen money from the fans who wanted to support these artists.
We have honored just about all of our premiums and will, in the next 60 days, send out the downloads of our new CD to those who purchased it. The pressing of the physical CD is going to take a little longer due to this financial setback, but we do expect this to be completed by May. And we will, of course, continue to try to retrieve our/your money from Pledgemusic!
We hope that you will share this and the link to the Billboard article. We don’t want any other artists to be taken advantage of and we want others to know about Pledgemusic’s unethical and criminal practices. This is an unfortunate turn of events for us and so many other artists, but we all plan to continue moving forward. Our CD release will be slightly delayed but it will come out soon. Thank you all for your long-standing and continuous support and love.
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