PledgeMusic co-founder Benji Rogers has revealed that efforts to save the embattled company have come up short and the music crowdfunding platform is careening toward bankruptcy.

The 100+ day death spiral of PledgeMusic appears to be coming to a close.

Rogers, who returned three months ago to the company he founded, wrote in a Medium post that he is “sad to report that this effort has not met with success and that PledgeMusic will shortly be heading into administration.”

Rogers’ letter appears to have edited since it was initially posted. According to Billboard, Rogers initially wrote that “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.”

No trace of this passage can be found in the current post.

Update: We Have 13 Questions for PledgeMusic’s Benji Rogers

PledgeMusic’s death spiral began in 2018 when clients began reporting slow disbursements of funds raised from fans on PledgeMusic in violation of the site’s funding guidelines. After several public complaints for amounts from $30,000 up, PledgeMusic admitted funds earmarked for artist campaigns had been spent on the company’s administrative costs and was seeking an investor to bring payments current “within the next 90 days.”

Strangely, Rogers – who returned to the company on a “volunteer basis” to help solve the company’s financial problems – has been left to make announcements, completely bypassing PledgeMusic’s dormant communications department. The company itself hasn’t posted an update in nearly three months.

Rogers’ letter also somewhat bizarrely lashes out at “recent media articles criticizing the business model of crowdfunding.” I’m sure some of these articles exist, though most of us have been criticizing PledgeMusic’s business model of “stealing artists’ money” instead.

As we wrote yesterday, people frequently go to jail for what appears to have happened at PledgeMusic – misappropriating funds raised for one specific purpose and using them for another. PledgeMusic admitted they had dipped into artists’ funds. This is illegal in practically every instance I can imagine.

The news will likely not go down well with bands owed money from PledgeMusic crowdfunding campaigns and users who had their contributions seized and possibly spent. Iain Baker of veteran rock band Jesus Jones, who has been outspoken during the meltdown of PledgeMusic, posted a series of Tweets calling for a full legal reckoning:


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