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PledgeMusic Sucks at Paying Employees, Too: Report

The crowdfunding website PledgeMusic’s collapse continues as Variety reports that the company has shrunk to a “skeleton staff” and has stopped paying its remaining U.S. employees. The news follows months of reports that the company owes hundreds of thousands of dollars, at least, to musical acts who attempted to use the nine-year-old website to fund new music through various pre-order campaigns, through which fans pledge money that artists are supposed to receive upon the completion of the music.

Eight acts told Billboard in January that PledgeMusic owed them money for completed campaigns, with Los Angeles industrial band ohGr claiming nearly $100,000 was eight months overdue. Variety now reports that “problems have snowballed in recent weeks, with hundreds if not more artists owed thousands of dollars, many in five figures.” Among those burned was erstwhile Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Bernie Tormé, who died this month with PldedgeMusic owing him nearly £16,000 for a solo album he completed in December.

PledgeMusic issued a statement on January 24 claiming that it expects all outstanding payments to be made in the next 90 days. The company suspended all active campaigns two weeks later. An anonymous former employee told Billboard in January that PledgeMusic had invested fan-pledged funds back into the company, rather than holding the money for each act. Variety also reports today that a potential buyer is “very interested” in purchasing the company.