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I’m Paul Barton and currently Managing Director of PledgeMusic UK, a leading direct-to-fan company, which began in 2009 and today launches around 1000 new music projects each year, covering artists from all genres and at all stages of development – from brand new to well established and the internationally popular. My journey to PledgeMusic began with assignments working at publishing and record companies (Warners, ZTT and Perfect Songs) and my CV includes A&R’ing bands such as The Enemy, Gallows and The Subways. At PledgeMusic I have managed projects by Ginger Wildheart, Killing Joke, Funeral For A Friend, REEF, Hawk Eyes, Fightstar/Charlie Simpson, Bring Me The Horizon and The Libertines to name but a few. As well as my role at PledgeMusic, I speak and attend many industry conferences and related B2B events.
PledgeMusic is a direct-to-fan service that empowers artists to fund their
music projects, nurture and build their fan base. Connection with an audience is an essential part of building a career, whatever part of the rights chain you inhabit – artist, manager, publisher or agent. The PledgeMusic website is both a facility to build a funding or pre-ordering campaign and to market and promote that to your own fans and the wider PledgeMusic community (now nearing a million in total).
Although there are plenty of established and name acts using PledgeMusic – The Libertines, Bring Me The Horizon, Fightstar, Weezer and Megadeth are recent ones that spring to mind – the site is populated also by new and emerging bands. For example, PledgeMusic has recently joined forces with the Help Musicians UK body providing financial assistance and industry expertise for 9 new bands every quarter. This programme is ongoing and open to all UK artists.
Indie Welsh band Telegram provide a good example of how PledgeMusic can work. After putting out their debut single ‘Follow’ in 2013, playing some shows and getting some media attention from the likes of NME (Radar Band of the Week) and The Guardian newspaper, they funded their second release through a PledgeMusic campaign. The EP ‘Aeons’ was launched with offers of signed and limited edition coloured vinyl, merchandise and artwork prints to their fans. It was also marketed to the wider PledgeMusic community through recommendation, social media and site algorithms. In return for pledging, apart from the products themselves the band delivered a regular series of updates, bonus content and video clips to their audience. In 2015, Telegram have launched a PledgeMusic campaign for their debut album and an expanded range of offers and experiences to an increased fan-base.
There’s plenty more to say about what PledgeMusic does and can do, but I’d like to leave you with two recommendations of current campaigns that you might like to take a look at, to help you further understand what we do, how we do it and where it can take you.
More about Paul Barton Managing Director PledgeMusic UK
Managing Director PledgeMusic UK, Paul has worked across the UK music industry at publishing and record companies including Perfect Songs, ZTT and Warners. At ZTT Paul product managed releases by Kirsty MacColl, Andrew Poppy, ACT, Lisa Stansfield and many of the artists produced by ZTT founder Trevor Horn. As A&R Manager at Warners, Paul worked on albums by The Enemy, Gallows and The Subways amongst others. More recently at PledgeMusic Paul has managed projects by Ginger Wildheart, Killing Joke, Funeral For A Friend, REEF, Hawk Eyes, Fightstar/Charlie Simpson, Bring Me The Horizon and The Libertines to name but a few. As well as his role at PledgeMusic, Paul is an accomplished and in-demand speaker at many industry conferences and B2B events.