Business News Deals Digital Labels & Publishers

Pledge announces Universal alliance in Canada

By | Published on Tuesday 18 June 2013


Providing further proof that direct-to-fan and fan-funding platforms – two kinds of digital services for artists that increasingly look the same – can complement as well as compete with the traditional label system, Universal Music Canada has announced a partnership with PledgeMusic. Under the alliance, the major label will have access to Pledge’s pre-order platform and ‘social syndication technologies’.

The new album by Canadian rockers The Headstones tested the partnership. Confirming the tie-up, Universal Music Canada CEO Randy Lennox said: “As we have seen with the success of The Headstones wonderful new album, PledgeMusic is a vibrant new way of artist discovery. [Pledge boss] Benji [Rogers] and his Pledge team have developed an artist and music fan-friendly experience and we couldn’t be happier to partner our artists and their assets with Pledge’s exciting direct-to-fan platforms”.

Although originally positioned more in Kickstarter crowd-sourcing territory, PledgeMusic now very much sees itself as a platform to enable artists to sell music and premium products to core fans on a pre-order basis. By generating cash upfront, Pledge, like Kickstarter, can assist DIY artists looking for help with cash flow. But it can also be used by labels working in partnership with artists, and it is in that latter domain where some of the most interesting campaigns using the Pledge platform have occurred.