PledgeMusic Redefines The Industry
By Rethinking How We Experience Music
PledgeMusic is changing the music business by breaking down the barrier between artists and fans. A full-service dynamic company, not just a static fundraising platform, PledgeMusic offers artists and fans direct and innovative ways for each to share in the music making experience.
The company was launched in the UK in 2009 by independent artist and social media geek Benji Rogers. Rogers, along with a team of veteran and new music industry professionals, sought to build a richer, and more interactive, alternative to the conventional and basic fundraising opportunities then available to artists. PledgeMusic is dialed into a robust and socially networked platform giving it global reach, which allows artists to offer their fans exclusive videos, tracks, photos, live streams and blogs, creative access, and first-chance opportunities to get highly anticipated records. Campaigns fit into an overall release strategy; they’re not just a way to raise money at PledgeMusic. See for example the interactive pre-sale of the upcoming Ben Folds Five album – http://www.pledgemusic.com/benfoldsfive.
PledgeMusic is committed to promoting meaningful connections worldwide – from fans to bands to charities – and has the ability to create campaigns in different languages and collect funds in different currencies. This broad reach allows the artist to have access to fans around the world and, in the process, donate part of their profits to the charity of their choice.
The last 600 successful campaigns launched on the platform achieved pre-sale pledges of over $6,000,000. This was achieved from working with a wide array of artists, from promising upstarts to esteemed pros, who are now launching, going into production, and releasing albums at a rate of two per day. Twenty-nine of these acts have been upstreamed to both major and independent labels and publishers. Five of these acts have cracked the top 40. Six have cracked the top 40 in the UK.
Some successful campaigns include Rachael Yamagata, Rhett Miller, Ben Folds Five, The Libertines, Juliana Hatfield, Luscious Jackson, David Lynch Foundation Music, The Damnwells, Funeral For A Friend, Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, Madi Diaz, The Lumineers and Kopecky Family Band, among others.
In addition to enriching the fan-to-band experience, PledgeMusic offers artists the same creative control as our friends and colleagues at sites like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. However, Pledge is not designed to work for every artist who hits the platform. “Often artists are not ready to launch a campaign, and, as a result, we see a failed campaign,” says Rogers. “Failed campaigns can be crushing to an artist, and disheartening to a fan base, particularly when the financial targets are disclosed. We want to help artists succeed, not just have lots of artists sign up and launch campaigns that don’t stand a chance at success.” As one of many options to safeguard against this uncomfortable situation, PledgeMusic does not reveal its artist’s financial goals to the public.
Whilst companies like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have revolutionized the world of proof of concept funding, PledgeMusic is in the business of revolutionizing the way in which musicians release music to their fans. PledgeMusic enables artists to begin albums and tours in profit or close to profit as opposed to going into debt and having to pay back advances offered by labels. Artists to date have achieved a spend per fan in excess of $60 per transaction.
PledgeMusic’s hands on direct-to-fan approach works within the traditional music industry but is not subject to it. Whether it’s chart eligibility, advanced data capture technology, social network analytics, or distribution and fulfillment, PledgeMusic is a tool for both the signed and unsigned artist alike.
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