After 10 years as one of the most prominent direct-to-fan music platforms, PledgeMusic has today announced that it has gone into liquidation, leaving an uncertain future for many artists.
Back in August of 2009, a new music company entered the online scene. Named PledgeMusic, its idea was rather simple, and served as a crowdfunding platform that both helped musicians raise funds and sell their music to their fans.
A solid idea, PledgeMusic was used by both independent and established artists for quite some time, with big names like Weezer, LCD Soundsystem, Failure, Sum 41, and Echo & The Bunnymen all using the platform to help distribute their works.
Sadly, news started to emerge earlier this year that the company was in trouble. Following claims that PledgeMusic was unable to pay artists what they were owed, the company revealed that “discussions with several strategic players in the industry” meant that “payments will be brought current within the next 90 days.”
Unfortunately, problems continued to persist, with founder Benji Rogers revealing back in May that the company would be heading into administration. Now, the company has announced it has gone into liquidation.
A winding up order was made against https://t.co/knmvnaNI1N Limited in the High Court of Justice on 31 July 2019. The Official Receiver is now liquidator of the company. Any enquiries should be sent to [email protected], quoting reference LQD5671373. pic.twitter.com/ktcxnIKZyp
— PledgeMusic (@PledgeMusic) August 5, 2019
Following the winding up of PledgeMusic the Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator & will now determine the cause of its failure. If unacceptable conduct is identified she can seek to have the directors banned from running other companies for up to 15 years https://t.co/7zM09RQ7wr
— Insolvency Service (@insolvencygovuk) August 2, 2019
Announcing the news via Twitter and by its website, PledgeMusic revealed that a “winding up” order had been made against the company, meaning that the platform is now heading into liquidation.
“Following the winding up of PledgeMusic, the Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator and will now determine the cause of its failure,” the UK Insolvency Service wrote on Twitter.
“If unacceptable conduct is identified she can seek to have the directors banned from running other companies for up to fifteen years”.
Speaking to Variety, music lawyer Christian Castle explained exactly what this means.
“Pledge had a choice between ‘administration,’ which is somewhat like a reorganization where the company continues operating after renegotiating its debts and liabilities, and ‘wind up,’ which is somewhat like a liquidation where the company shuts down and sells its assets to satisfy creditors.
“After guiding fans, artists and vendors toward repaying within 90 days and then toward administration, which would mean the company could emerge and continue operating after paying off its debts and liabilities, Pledge instead chose winding up.
“If you look at the timeline, I think you will find that they were assuring administration was their course after they’d already filed for wind up.”
At this stage, it is not clear whether any artists who are owed money by PledgeMusic will ever see their funds, but it seems as though many people will be keeping a close eye on the liquidation proceedings in the near future.