Pledge, a crowdfunding site for music projects, has ceased doing business after reports spread like wildfire that the company had dipped into the money raised by their artists to pay for the company’s own expenses. Earlier today, HypeBot reports, PledgeMusic’s website was shut down.
Benji Rogers – who we had some questions for – was a co-founder of PledgeMusic. After departing, Rogers returned to the company early in 2019 in an ambiguous “volunteer” role to help straighten out its payment problems. He later posted that he had been unable to salvage the company. 5 Mag later obtained financial data as part of an alleged investment deck circulated by Pledge that showed the company was running at a constant, persistent loss.
Given his cameo during PledgeMusic’s public implosion, it’s a bit odd to see Benji Rogers founding a media company. And he’s funding his next venture via, uh, Kickstarter.
MusicAlly was the first with the story about NewsHero, Rogers’ new venture. NewsHero says it is a “platform that rebalances the news to better reflect the world we live in with direct, sustainable support for journalists and sources.”
“Every story has a hero,” the Kickstarter reads.
Musicians who were burned by PledgeMusic (several albums have been shelved by artists whose funds were stolen by PledgeMusic; a chain of bankruptcies feels inevitable) would probably enjoy placing “air quotes” around practically ever word in those last two sentences. And the fact that Rogers is using a reputable platform like Kickstarter to fund it.
Apparently the site is devoted to giving a “positive spin” to news – or “hero-focused news,” which I’m pretty sure they just made up. The “here’s how it works” section is vague and lacking details, as is the project as a whole other than Benji’s worries about children reading “bad news” and how they want to “identify heroes.” They do also wish to become “a trusted name in news.”
If you wish to hand over more of your money, you can help raise $25,000 to seed NewsHero prior to its September 20 2019 deadline.