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Crowdfunding Website PledgeMusic Sucks at Paying Artists

Eight bands and artists claim the crowdfunding website PledgeMusic owes them money in a new report published today by Billboard. The story is the most detailed look yet at the platform’s months of financial woes and overdue payments, first reported by Hypebot and Variety, including six digits owed to the acts cited in the article alone.

PledgeMusic, in theory, allows fans to pre-order music, merchandise, and other goods, helping independent acts fund albums through direct sales with their fans, whose pledges pay out within 30 days of a project’s completion. In practice, the Los Angeles-based industrial band ohGr claims it’s owed nearly $100,000, eight months after completing its crowdfunded fifth album. Texas band Fastball raised $22,000 through the website with an album pre-sale that ended on November 9 and has only been paid $895.24. HuDost, Mike Evin, Joanna Wallfisch, and Amanda Duncan also said they’re owed thousands of dollars each for completed campaigns.

An anonymous former PledgeMusic employee told Billboard that the website invested fan-pledged funds back into the company, rather than holding the money for each act. The company confessed in a statement, “We acknowledge that many artists have and continue to experience payment delays,” and claimed outstanding payments will be paid within the next 90 days.

Read the full report here.