Both PledgeMusic and triple j Unearthed have updated their sites this week to make it easier for users and provide greater functionality for artists.

Five years ago, PledgeMusic launched as a primarily crowd-sourcing site and went on to be used by 20,000 artists. These include Slash, The Hold Steady, The Lumineers, 311, Bring Me The Horizon, Ben Folds Five, LCD Soundsystem, BB King, George Benson, Sevendust and Rachael Yamagata.

In the latest Australian triumph, Melbourne’s Calling All Cars are expected to hit the 100% mark today in their campaign to fund their move to the UK. The band has been creative in what it offers: signed vinyl, CDs, guitars and lyrics sheets, exclusive performances, music lessons and even a pair of frontman Haydn Ing’s pants. But this week they also pledged their Toyota Tarago tour van complete with amps and drums. It was purchased by Seymour Toyota in Victoria, with its principal dealer Adam Dove planning to rent it out to other bands. Calling All Cars also got Levi’s to donate three prize packs, with CAC playing tunes off their new album Raise The People at Levi’s product launch in Melbourne on March 19.

Scot Crawford, Pledge Music’s Australian general manager, said: “Platforms such as Pledge Music enable hardworking bands like Calling All Cars to fulfill their musical endeavours. The Seymour Toyota contribution is an amazing event. We couldn’t be happier for them and it’s great that a medium like Pledge can make these things happen!”

Now with a worldwide community of 560,000 passionate music fans who use the site to also find new acts, PledgeMusic has redesigned with tech updates “to further enhance users’ experience.”

Fans can be more involved during the creation of the project, with a larger focus on sample tracks, invites to recording sessions and private concerts, limited edition memorabilia, tickets and past recordings, a dedicated fans’ “feed” and more pre-order exclusives. This way, the act has more ways to attract revenue through the project rather than once at the end of a campaign. Acts and labels can offer a wider range of initiatives rather than just an album, a new tour or merch. Fans can now use social media to promote the projects.

Benji Rogers, president and founder of PledgeMusic commented: “This marks an important turning point for our platform and for our company. Ultimately we feel that we have created a significant marketing channel for the artists that we work with and our entire team remains dedicated to creating more reasons for fans to participate in what we see as a thriving music ecosystem with a bright future ahead.”

With the new updated triple j Unearthed website, artists can embed videos on their page, and list upcoming gigs on their own page and the broader Unearthed gig guide. They can keep better track of their airplay, streaming and download statistics via the backend of their Unearthed profile. The bitrate increase to 192kbps means improved quality of the music.

Music fans can now have their own profile page to follow their bands and like-minded fans, create and share playlists of Unearthed music, like and collect their fave tracks and embed Unearthed tracks onto other parts of the web.

Listeners will find easy access to the triple j Unearthed digital radio station, via the online player, playlist history and pages with on-demand and upcoming program info.

There are more than 45,000 artists and 99,000 songs currently on the triple j Unearthed website. Triple J says, “It’s the largest online community of Australian music in existence.”

For more industry news see Christie Eliezer’s Industrial Strength column in the BRAG.

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