UK startup Pledge Music is throwing its hat into the fan-funded ring, with plans to take on Sellaband, Slicethepie and Bandstocks. The company has just appointed A&R guru Malcolm Dunbar as its managing director, working with CEO Benji Rogers on the soon-to-launch startup.It will allow artists to set the target for an amount they wish to raise, and then ask for pledges from fans in return for incentives including downloads, CDs and gig tickets. The company takes no money from fans until the target is met, says artists retain all rights – recording, publishing, merchandising and live – and says it charges the lowest flat-rate commission out of all its rivals.The news will increase competition in the fan-funded space, particularly in the light of Sellaband’s recent refocusing of its business model, including letting artists keep their publishing rates and choose the amount they wish to raise. At the same time, every month sees more established artists coming to the end of their label contracts (or, indeed, getting dropped), and thinking about whether to go down the fan-funded route. Interesting times…

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