Earlier this year, reports of PledgeMusic entering severe financial difficulty started to surface, with some reports saying the crowdfunding platform owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to artists and musicians, this was shortly before the platform filed for bankruptcy. The site was founded in 2009 by, Benji Rogers, Jann Tosatto, Jayce Varden and Rupert Selby. Benji Rogers would stand as Founding CEO and President, among some other titles until 2017 when he decided to step down and leave the company before returning to try and solve the financial crisis the fundraising site faced in 2019.

I cannot begin to appreciate how all of you affected artists are feeling about this and I am deeply sorry for what you have been through
- CEO PledgeMusic

PledgeMusic started to receive serious backlash as 1000s of artists came forward saying they had not been given the funds raised by their campaigns. PledgeMusic was only ever supposed to take a 15% flat fee of all money raised via its platform, so it’s quite amazing how literally all of the money disappeared. One source cites PledgeMusic owing at least 100K to just 10 artists that shared their story publicly. The real figure likely in the millions.

In a statement back in May, Benji Rogers said “I cannot begin to appreciate how all of you affected artists are feeling about this and I am deeply sorry for what you have been through...The company will go into administration at some point this week or early next which means that any funds received for the assets of Pledge will be distributed to all of the creditors involved. This will include all of the artists who are owed money.” which provides little solace for artists.

It’s not clear who was responsible for the financial disaster at PledgeMusic and the founders may well face legal action, however, that hasn’t stopped Founder and Ceo Benji Rogers from turning to another crowdfunding platform to launch his new project, NewsHero. The new project looks to be a news platform that focuses on the “hero” of the story, so don’t expect to see any news about PledgeMusic on the site.

Rogers created a Kickstarter campaign back in July and has since reached a 106% fulfillment on the platform equating to approximately 26K dollars. Taking to Twitter, Rogers said “106% funded with less than 12 hours to go!!! THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING BACKERS! Still on the fence? This is your last chance to pledge to get the unique rewards from the campaign.”

The official byline for the new project is “A platform that rebalances the news to better reflect the world we live in with direct, sustainable support for journalists and sources”. Let’s hope he can support his employees better than PledgeMusic supported its artists. Of the topics that Benji hopes to cover on the platform including Arts, Politics, and Lifestyle, you may not be surprised to see Music had been excluded from the list. Although there will be an Entertainment section, it does not clarify what type of entertainment.

Some may defend Benji, but it's hard to believe that someone with this level of involvement in PledgeMusic didn't know what was going on for years.

Here is the Kickstarter campaign.

Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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