Jesus Jones just one of untold artists stiffed by PledgeMusic

It's 2019. Despite the promises of Silicon Valley and the so-called gig economy, musicians are struggling more than ever to not only reach a broad audience but make a living from their music in a world that is constantly trying to devalue music's worth even as streaming volume grows.
Even the innovative ways to connect musicians with fans (and their money) are turning out to be an example of the new boss being worse than the old boss. Crowdsourcing site PledgeMusic is illustrative of what appears to be at best negligence in ensuring musicians get paid, and at worst, alleged fraud.
For those not in the know, PledgeMusic seemed like a fantastic remedy for a problem caused by the companies like LimeWire, Pirate Bay and (initially) Napster whose "information wants to be free," mantra broke every copyright rule known to man and destroyed the concept of remuneration for artistic works in such a way that would have made Communists like Stalin and Chairman Mao proud. To remedy this, crowdsourcing concepts theorized that if you connect directly with your hardcore fans, they will pay you the money you used to earn when you made royalties, and you could give them premiums as an extra bonus. Because obviously music isn't enough of an incentive, right?
For a while this seemed like a great idea. And I for one had a certain satisfaction in not only paying for the album the bands were working on, but paying extra to have some sort of skin in the game. I supported bands on IndieGogo as well as PledgeMusic and KickStarter. And it was all good. Until it wasn't.
Looking at PledgeMusic's Wikipedia page, one sees that "In early 2019, reports emerged of artists not being paid in accordance with their agreements with PledgeMusic. Also at that time, PledgeMusic's accounts for 2017 had not been filed with Companies House in the UK and by then were 4 months overdue. On 24th January, 2019, PledgeMusic issued a statement via its blog page that claimed the company was having “discussions with several strategic players in the industry who have an interest in the PledgeMusic platform” and that it expects "payments will be brought current within the next 90 days."
At least they were trying to solve the issue, right? Not according to this thread from Jesus Jones who back in January got wise to the issues and used the power of their audience to spread the word. And now, nearly five months later, it seems not much as changed. If anything, the band has stepped up their vitriol, and rightly calling out the company who pledged (geddit) to fix the issues within 90 days.

Jesus Jones is not the only band bringing attention to PledgeMusic's shenanigans Mike Evin called it out. And now, fans are also stepping up to defend their beloved bands. An article in Spin also points out PledgeMusic isn't very good at paying its employees, either. PledgeMusic's behavior is upsetting  the bands who use the site, the fans who support the bands and the employees who work for the brand. With a PR problem this large, and musicians calling out the site's founder how much longer do they have before they bring the curtain down?

 

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