Crowd-funding website PledgeMusic has been taken offline. The news comes five months after musicians began to raise concerns over the platform's alleged non-payment of money due to artists.
A statement on the PledgeMusic website reads: "To the Artists and Fans of PledgeMusic. As many of you know, PledgeMusic suspended operations a number of months ago and the site is now offline.
"The company continues to work with outside counsel on the most appropriate next steps, and we will update you with those specifics as we get more information. All data has been preserved and a notice with next steps will be posted on here shortly."
Among the many artists affected by the fallout are jazz musician John Zorn, who claims to be owed almost $200,000. "This is a lot of bread for us, it really is," Zorn told NPR. "After three years of work on this project, with dozens of musicians, and hundreds of hours of recording and mixing. Then to have this happen, my first thought was: 'Why are they doing this to us?'"
Last week, UK rock band Swervedriver announced they would be unable to fulfil all the orders placed for their recent album Future Ruins. In a statement, they said: "We’re disappointed to announce that after shipping out 70% of our album orders, we’re now in the unfortunate position of no longer being able to fulfill remaining orders to the gracious people who generously participated in our PledgeMusic campaign. We’re as dismayed as you with this announcement."
They continue, "We had hoped that we could at least get everyone the physical music but have been in a period of stasis trying to sort out how to make that happen and consequently we haven’t made an official announcement since March because we were still hoping to figure out a way to be able to sort this out. Fruitlessly, in the end. It’s difficult to overemphasise how disappointed we are with this outcome."
In January, PledgeMusic founder Benji Roberts wrote, "I will do all in my power to help the team bring this to a successful conclusion for the artists and fans as quickly as is possible. I am deeply sorry to those of you who have been affected by this."