PledgeMusic: History
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Subjects: Others

PledgeMusic is an online direct-to-fan music platform, launched in August 2009, that facilitates musicians reaching out to their fanbase (termed Pledgers) to pre-sell, market, and distribute music projects including recordings, music videos, and concerts. Broadly speaking it bears some similarities to such platforms as ArtistShare, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, RocketHub and Sellaband.

  • pledgemusic
  • kickstarter
  • direct-to-fan

1. Features

PledgeMusic considers itself a direct-to-fan platform as opposed to a crowdfunding website. Features of PledgeMusic that distinguish it from other crowdfunding systems include that it:[1]

  • is solely focused on raising funds for musicians
  • does not retain any ownership or rights to any music created through the platform
  • encourages artists to include contributions to charity as part of their fundraising project
  • absorbs all transaction processing costs involved in pledging on a project
  • encourages artists to offer a wide range of incentives and exclusive content to pledgers
  • does not process any funding transactions until the funding target is reached
  • is international, accepting artists, projects and pledgers from all over the world
  • allows pledger refunds

PledgeMusic allows two distinct types of campaigns: direct-to-fan and preorder. In direct-to-fan campaigns, fans are not charged until the project target is reached, at which point money is collected in an "artist account" that holds the money for disbursement to the intended recipients. If a target is not reached, fans are not charged. In preorder campaigns, fans are charged immediately, and the artist is paid directly upon project completion, much like traditional online retail.[2]

2. Results

2.1. Success Rate

PledgeMusic is reported to have a 90% campaign success rate (higher than Kickstarter or Indiegogo), with most artists raising an average 140% of their goal.[3]

2.2. Notable Artists Who Have Launched Campaigns on PledgeMusic

Campaign End Date Artist Project Type Project Title Label References
2018 Men at Work Album Men at Work: You Better Take Cover (A tribute to Greg Ham) PledgeMusic [4]
July 2018 Willie Nile Album Children of Paradise River House Records [5]
2017 "Weird Al" Yankovic Other Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of "Weird Al" Yankovic Legacy Recordings [6]
Ongoing Aly & AJ EP Ten Years Aly & AJ Music, LLC [7]
Ongoing Erasure Album World Be Gone Mute [8]
March 2016? Demon Hunter Album Outlive Solid State Records
Ongoing Marillion Album Fuck Everyone and Run Intact/EarMusic [9][10]
Ongoing Culture Club Album Tribes Different Man/Kobalt [11][12]
October 2016 Sum 41 Album "13 Voices" Hopeless Records [13][14]
Ongoing Esmee Denters Album New EP PledgeMusic [15]
Ongoing Christian Death Album The Root of All Evolution PledgeMusic [16]
Ongoing Dweezil Zappa Album   PledgeMusic [17]
May 2015 Ash Album "Kablammo!" Atomic Heart Records [18]
Ongoing Shayne Ward Album "Closer" PledgeMusic [19]
Ongoing Macy Gray Album The Way PledgeMusic [20]
Ongoing Plain White T's Album American Nights PledgeMusic [21]
Ongoing Guster Live Album   Nettwerk [22]
Ongoing Black Veil Brides Album "Black Veil Brides IV" Universal/Republic [23]
Ongoing Unlocking the Truth Debut EP   RED Associated Labels [24]
Done Erasure Album The Violet Flame Mute [25]
Ongoing RX Bandits Album "Gemini, Her Majesty" INgrooves [26]
Ongoing Echo & the Bunnymen Album "Meteorites" 429 [27]
Ongoing Rufus Wainwright Album "Prima Donna" Independent [28]
Ongoing Matt Pond Album "State of Gold" BMG Rights Management [29]
Ongoing The Birthday Massacre Album "Superstition" Metropolis [30]
Ongoing Chali 2na EP "Against The Current" Independent [31]
October 2015 The Zombies Album "Still Got That Hunger" The End Records [32]
September 2015 David Cook Album "Digital Vein" Analog Heart Music / INgrooves [33]
September 2015 Silversun Pickups Album "Better Nature" New Machine Records [34]
December 2014 Dexys Album "Nowhere Is Home" Absolute Marketing and Distribution [35]
December 2014 The Enemy Album "Dancing All Night" Cooking Vinyl [36]
November 2014 The Vines Album "Wicked Nature" Wicked Nature [37]
November 2014 Terri Clark Album   Baretrack Records / EMI [38]
November 2014 Weezer Album "Everything Will Be Alright in the End" Universal/Republic [39]
November 2014 Interpol Album "El Pintor" PIAS Entertainment Group [40]
October 2014 Mobb Deep Album "The Infamous Mobb Deep" Infamous Records [41]
October 2014 Antigone Rising Album "Whiskey & Wine (vol. 1 & 2)" Independent [42]
October 2014 Jack Strify Album "ILLUSION" Independent [43]
June 2014 SPONGE Tour Endless Summer Tour Independent [44]
June 2014 Sevendust Album "Time Travelers & Bonfires" 7Bros Records [45]
June 2014 Peter Murphy Album "Mr. Moonlight Tour:
35 Years of Bauhaus"
Nettwerk [46]
June 2014 K.Flay Album "Life As A Dog" Independent [47]
June 2014 Klaxons Album "Love Frequency" RED [48]
May 2014 The Clarks Album "Feathers & Bones" Independent [49]
May 2014 Lindsey Stirling Album "Shatter Me" Lindseystomp [50]
May 2014 Buzzcocks Album "The Way" Cooking Vinyl [51]
May 2014 Devin Townsend Album "Casualties of Cool"   [52]
May 2014 Peter Andre Album "Big Night" Independent [53]
April 2014 Blake Lewis Album "Portrait of a Chameleon" INgrooves [54]
April 2014 Steel Panther Album "All You Can Eat" Kobalt [55]
April 2014 The Babys Album "I'll Have Some Of That!" All In Time Records [56]
April 2014 Joan Osborne Album "Love and Hate" Membran [57]
April 2014 Dan Wilson Album "Love Without Fear" Kobalt [58]
March 2014 311 Album "Stereolithic" INgrooves [59]
March 2014 Natives Album "Indoor War" Transmission Recordings [60]
March 2014 Kate Miller-Heidke Album "O Vertigo!" Cooking Vinyl [61]
March 2014 Tokyo Police Club Album "Forcefield" Mom + Pop [62]
March 2014 Stiff Little Fingers Album "No Going Back" Rigid Digits [63]
February 2014 The Presidents of the USA Album "Kudos to You!" PUSA Inc. [64]
February 2014 Reverend and The Makers Album "ThirtyTwo" Cooking Vinyl [65]
January 2014 The Hold Steady EP "The Unified Scene" Razor & Tie [66]
January 2014 The Rifles Album "None the Wiser" Cooking Vinyl [67]
January 2014 Hard-Fi Album "Hard-Fi: Best of 2004 – 2014" Warner [68]
December 2013 Flyleaf Album "Between The Stars" Loud and Proud Records [69]
November 2013 Mike Doughty Album "Circles, Super Bon Bon, and
The Very Best Of Soul Coughing"
Independent [70]
November 2013 Apocalyptica Album "Wagner Reloaded" RCA [71]
November 2013 Umphrey's McGee Live Album "Hall of Fame: Class of 2012" Nothing Too Fancy Music [72]
October 2013 Slash Album "Nothing Left to Fear
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)"
September 2013 Katatonia Album "Dethroned & Uncrowned" Burning Shed [74]
September 2013 Lissie Album "Back to Forever" Columbia (UK/EUR)
Fat Possum (US)
August 2013 Juliana Hatfield Album "Wild Animals" Ye Olde Records [76]
June 2013 Sam Duckworth (GCWCF) Album "Amazing Grace" Independent [77]
May 2013 Donots Live DVD/Album "Wake the States" Solitary Man [78]
April 2013 Bring Me the Horizon Album "Sempiternal" RCA [79]
April 2013 The Whybirds Album "A Little Blood" The Little Red Recording Company [80]
March 2013 IAMX Album "The Unified Field" 61seconds Records [81]
March 2013 Kate Nash Album Girl Talk" INgrooves [82]
December 2012 Ian McCulloch Album "Pro Patria Mori" Independent [83]
November 2012 Kissy Sell Out Album "San City High ALL STARS" San City High Records [84]
October 2012 LCD Soundsystem DVD "Shut Up and Play the Hits" DFA [85]
August 2012 Kill It Kid EP "Rarities" Independent [86]
July 2012 Ginger Wildheart Album "Hey! Hello!" Round Records [87]
July 2012 Ginger Wildheart Album "Mutations/Mutations 2" Round Records [87]
April 2012 The Libertines DVD "There Are No Innocent Bystanders" Absolute [88]
March 2012 The Infamous Stringdusters Album "Silver Sky" High Country Recordings [89]
October 2011 The Lumineers Other   Dualtone [90]
September 2011 Crystal Fighters Deluxe Album "Star of Love" Independent [91]
September 2011 The Subways Album "Money and Celebrity" Independent [92]
September 2011 Art Brut Album "Brilliant! Tragic!" Cooking Vinyl (UK/EUR)
Downtown (US)
July 2010 Ginger Wildheart Album "555% (aka 100%)" Round Records [94]
May 2010 Kopecky Family Band Album "The Disaster" ATO Records [95]
On Going Blind Pilot Album "And Then Like Lions" ATO Records [96]
May 2010 Princess Superstar Album "The New Evolution" Independent  

2.3. In the Charts

Various PledgeMusic albums have achieved significant chart success, including:

  • Stiff Little Fingers - No Going Back - #1 in UK Rock Album Charts - #28 in UK Album Charts
  • Ginger Wildheart - 100% - #27 in the UK
  • Charlie Simpson - When We Were Lions - #6 in the UK
  • Ben Folds Five - The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind - #10 on the Billboard Top 200
  • The Subways - Money and Celebrity - #16 in Germany, #43 in the UK
  • Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal - #3 in the UK, #1 in Australia
  • Lindsey Stirling - Shatter Me - #2 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 in both Classical and EDM
  • Sevendust - Time Travelers and Bonfires - #19 in the US
  • Kate Miller-Heidke - O Vertigo! - #3 in Australia
  • 311 - STEREOLITHIC - #6 on the Billboard Top 200
  • Mindi Abair - #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart
  • Casey Crescenzo - #2 on the Billboard Classical chart
  • The Puppini Sisters - The High Life - #1 debut on the UK iTunes Jazz Chart, #3 debut US iTunes Jazz Chart
  • The String Cheese Incident — #1 Billboard Heatseekers, #4 Vinyl
  • Thomas Rhett - #1 Billboard 200
  • Gary Numan — #2 in the UK

More than 30 PledgeMusic artists have been subsequently signed to major or independent label recording contracts.[97]

3. Charity

PledgeMusic artists have the option of donating a percentage of their total or post-goal revenue to a charity of their choice. Currently, 67% of projects are linked with a charity.[3] Artists without a cause in mind are able to meet with the company's charity outreach specialist to pair them up with charities.

4. Affiliated Companies and Partnerships

PledgeMusic Recordings[98] and PledgeMusic Publishing[99] are both affiliated companies providing the traditional services of a record label and a publishing company to select Artists.

PledgeMusic and the following companies have entered into commercial partnerships to provide more integrated services to Artists:

  • Myspace[100]
  • SonicBids[101]
  • SoundOut (Slicethepie's insight and analytics service)[102]
  • Lyric Financial
  • Nimbit[103]
  • Topspin Media[104]
  • Artist Growth[104]
  • Firebrand[104]
  • INgrooves Fontana[104]
  • Inertia[105]
  • INDMusic[106]
  • The Agency Group[107]

PledgeMusic has partnered with the Hotel Cafe for SXSW 2011[108] and 2012.[109]

PledgeMusic has hosted showcases with CMJ.[110]

5. Awards, Nominations, and Notable Commentary

PledgeMusic was nominated for the 2010 BT Digital Music Awards in the category "Best Innovation or Gadget".[111]

While discussing the Digital Economy Bill Lord Errol, in the UK House of Lords, has described PledgeMusic as a "rather clever idea" in the context of new ways of releasing music.[112]

PledgeMusic was nominated for the 2011 Music Week Awards in the category "Consumer-Facing Digital Music Service of the Year".[113]

PledgeMusic was nominated for the 2011 BT Digital Music Awards in the category "Best Innovation or Gadget".[114]

Ginger Wildheart was awarded the 2012 Classic Rock Awards 'Event Of The Year' award for his PledgeMusic campaign.[115]

PledgeMusic was noted as one of Billboard's "Five digital startups to watch in 2013".[116]

PledgeMusic won the Grammy Music Technology Lab in 2013.[117]

PledgeMusic was nominated for SoundCtrl's 2013 Best in Artist Support award.[118]

PledgeMusic was nominated for the American Association of Independent Music 2013 Annual Libera Awards (The "LIBBYs") 21st Century Award – celebrating the service provider or platform that was most beneficial to Independent labels and artists.[119]

Co-founders Benji Rogers and Malcolm Dunbar were named to The Hospital Club 100 list in 2013 in the category of Music.[120]

Benji Rogers, founder and president of PledgeMusic, won A&R Worldwide's International Music Industry Awards' Distinguished Digital Executive of the Year, 2014

6. "Super Fans"

In 2014, PledgeMusic and teamed up to produce a documentary about super fans and their role in the future of the music industry. The documentary features footage and interviews from SXSW and interviews with artists such as Nicole Atkins and San Fermin.

The content is sourced from:


  1. "FAQ". PledgeMusic. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  2. "PledgeMusic FAQ". 
  3. "PledgeMusic Looks To Change The Future Of The Album Release | Digital Music NewsDigital Music News". 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  4. "Men at Work: You Better Take Cover (A tribute to Greg Ham)". 
  5. "Children of Paradise". 
  6. "Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of "Weird Al" Yankovic". 
  7. "Aly and AJ: Ten Years EP". 
  8. "Erasure: World Be Gone". 
  9. "Marillion: F*** Everyone And Run (F E A R) on PledgeMusic". 
  10. "Marillion : New Album". 
  11. "Culture Club: Tribes on PledgeMusic". 
  12. "Culture Club : New Album". 
  13. "Sum 41 to release comeback album". 
  14. "Sum 41 : New Album". 
  15. "Esmee Denters: New Ep". 
  16. "CHRISTIAN DEATH: New album". 
  17. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
  18. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
  19. "Shayne Ward announces new album for February 2015". 
  20. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
  21. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
  23. "Black Veil Brides: New Album Pre-Order on PledgeMusic". 
  24. "Unlocking The Truth: New EP on PledgeMusic". 
  25. "Erasure: The Violet Flame". 
  26. "Rx Bandits: The New Album! on PledgeMusic". 
  27. "Echo and the Bunnymen: Meteorites on PledgeMusic". 
  28. "Rufus Wainwright: Prima Donna on PledgeMusic". 
  29. "Matt Pond: State of Gold Pre-Order". 
  30. "The Birthday Massacre: We're Making a New Album!". 
  31. "Chali 2na: Against The Current on PledgeMusic". 
  32. "The Zombies: New Album on PledgeMusic". 
  33. "David Cook: Digital Vein on PledgeMusic". 
  34. "Silversun Pickups on PledgeMusic". 
  35. "Dexys: Nowhere Is Home on PledgeMusic". 
  36. "The Enemy: New Album on PledgeMusic". 
  37. "The Vines: Wicked Nature on PledgeMusic". 
  38. "Terri Clark: New Studio Album". 
  39. "Weezer: Everything Will Be Alright in the End". 
  40. "Interpol: El Pintor". 
  41. "Mobb Deep: The Infamous on PledgeMusic". 
  42. "Antigone Rising: Whiskey and Wine on PledgeMusic". 
  43. "Jack Strify: ILLUSION". 
  44. "SPONGE: Summer Tour 2014". 
  45. "Sevendust: New Acoustic Album on PledgeMusic". 
  46. "Peter Murphy: Mr. Moonlight Tour: 35 Years of Bauhaus on PledgeMusic". 
  47. "K.Flay: NEW ALBUM". 
  48. "Klaxons: Love Frequency". 
  49. "The Clarks: New album "Feathers & Bones"". 
  50. "Lindsey Stirling: My New Album". 
  51. "Buzzcocks: My Way on PledgeMusic". 
  52. "Casualties of Cool: Casualties of Cool on PledgeMusic". 
  53. "Peter Andre: New Album". 
  54. "Blake Lewis: New Album". 
  55. "Steel Panther: The New Album - All You Can Eat!! on PledgeMusic". 
  56. "The Babys: Brand New Album Coming April 2014". 
  57. "Joan Osborne on PledgeMusic". 
  58. "Dan Wilson: Love Without Fear on PledgeMusic". 
  59. "311: Pre-order 'STEREOLITHIC' on PledgeMusic". 
  60. "Natives: Indoor War on PledgeMusic". 
  61. "Kate Miller-Heidke: New Album on PledgeMusic". 
  62. "Tokyo Police Club: Forcefield on PledgeMusic". 
  63. "Stiff Little Fingers on PledgeMusic". 
  64. "The Presidents of the USA: New Studio Album". 
  65. "Reverend and the Makers: New Album on PledgeMusic". 
  66. "The Hold Steady: The Unified Scene". 
  67. "The Rifles: New Album on PledgeMusic". 
  68. "Hard-Fi: Best of 2004 - 2014 on PledgeMusic". 
  69. "Flyleaf: Between The Stars". 
  70. "Mike Doughty: Soul Coughing Songs: Reimagined". 
  71. "Apocalyptica: Wagner Reloaded on PledgeMusic". 
  72. "Umphrey's Mcgee: Hall of Fame: Class of 2012". 
  73. "Slash: Nothing Left to Fear Soundtrack". 
  74. "Katatonia: New Album on PledgeMusic". 
  75. "Lissie: New Album". 
  76. "Juliana Hatfield: brand new album 2013". 
  77. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
  78. "Donots: USA Tour DVD & Live Album". 
  79. "Bring Me the Horizon: New Album". 
  80. "The Whybirds: The third studio album". 
  81. "IAMX: NEW ALBUM". 
  82. "Kate Nash: Girl Talk". 
  83. "Ian McCulloch: New Solo Album on PledgeMusic". 
  84. "Kissy Sell Out: San City High ALL STARS Album on PledgeMusic". 
  85. "LCD Soundsystem: Shut Up And Play The Hits on PledgeMusic". 
  86. "Kill It Kid: Rarities/Demos EP on PledgeMusic". 
  87. "Ginger Wildheart: Mutation and Hey! Hello! on PledgeMusic". 
  88. "The Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders on PledgeMusic". 
  89. "The Infamous Stringdusters: The Infamous Stringdusters "Silver Sky"". 
  90. "The Lumineers: We've Been Robbed...". 
  91. "Crystal Fighters: 'Star of Love' - Deluxe Edition on PledgeMusic". 
  92. "The Subways: New Album". 
  93. "Art Brut: New Album + live EP on PledgeMusic". 
  94. "Ginger Wildheart: Triple Album on PledgeMusic". 
  95. "Kopecky Family Band: New Record The Disaster!". 
  96. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
  97. "sevensixtytwo". sevensixtytwo. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  98. "Home". Pledge Music Recordings. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  99. "PledgeMusic opens publishing arm". Music Week. 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  100. "(Press Release) PledgeMusic Partners With MySpace to Help Independent Artists With New Technology". 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  101. "(Press Release) PledgeMusic Direct-to-Fan Funding Engine to Be Integrated Into the Sonicbids Robust Offering of Tools for Artists". 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  102. [1]
  103. "PledgeMusic Partners With Nimbit To Launch PledgeStore". hypebot. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  104. (Press Release) Pledge Announces New Integrated Marketing Partnership. PledgeMusic. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  105. (Press Release) News: Inertia announces new strategic partnership with PledgeMusic! - Inertia. (2012-11-26). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  106. 4-12 Weekend Wrap-Up: INDMUSIC Partnership, Jesse Malin and More!. PledgeMusic (2013-04-12). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  107. [2]. PledgeMusic, The Agency Group Announce Partnership. Billboard. Retrieved on 2014-04-10.
  108. SXSW 2011!. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  109. presents The Hotel Cafe at SXSW 2012. PledgeMusic (2012-02-21). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  110. PledgeMusic Announces Lineup for CMJ Day Party and Night Showcase at the Rockwood Music Hall. (2011-10-06). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  111. (Press Release) BT news releases. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  112. [3]
  113. Williams, Paul. (2011-04-18) Awards nominations announced. Music Week. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  114. [4]
  115. Award-winning Ginger Wildheart Pledge campaign 'testament to commercial viability of D2F'. Music Week. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  116. Five Digital Startups to Watch in 2013 | Billboard. (2012-12-14). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  117. (Press Release) Wins Grammy Music Technology Lab. PledgeMusic (2013-02-27). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  118. (Press Release) Thanks to SoundCtrl for Nominating Us for a 2013 FlashFWD Award!. PledgeMusic (2013-04-16). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  119. American Association of Independent Music — Blog — A2IM LIBBY Awards Final Nominees Announced. A2IM (2013-04-24). Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  120. "The Hospital Club 100 list 2013 | Culture professionals network | Guardian Professional". 2013-11-19. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
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