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Idefi Launches As "All Access Record Label" With Confusing Approach

Idefi-logoIdefi launched out of beta this month as an "all access record label" but it's really more of an ecommerce and related services company. For DIY artists that may be just the thing but Idefi undermines itself with a complicated system for actually getting services beyond sales on the site. Artists have a lot of control over what happens and can end the relationship at any point but the confusing system raises some concerns.

I guess this is my week to give people a hard time but I do try to give new ideas the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately Idefi has certain problems that are hard to ignore.

[Note: Founder Brady Deaton shares a thoughtful response in the comments.]

Basically you set up an account, decide what percentage Idefi gets with the option of 0% and then you can sell your music on the platform. So you can just use it as another outlet to sell your music without being charged fees. There's no mention of transaction fees but I'd suggest double checking on that if you take a closer look.

When you sign up you're immediately faced with the decision of what percentage to give Idefi and this is where it gets confusing. I did not complete the registration process so there may be more info available later but everything up to that point is explained here.

Beyond sales on the platform Idefi offers a number of services from distribution to artist development to next album production. You earn points based on your sales and what percentage of sales you give to Idefi:

"You get to choose the amount of each sale you keep and which part goes to idefi. This decision directly affects the rewards points and works like this:"

  • 15% to idefi, 85% to you = 0 rewards points
  • 25% to idefi, = 75% to you = .5 Point per $1
  • 50% to idefi, 50% to you = 1 Point per $1
  • 75% to idefi, 25% to you = 1.5 Points per $1
  • 100% to idefi, 0% to you = 2 Points per $1 (this will be setup as a button that allows you to "crowdsource" your fans to get to that next level)

On the same page they break down the services offered and the amount of points. It's initially confusing but as the cobwebs clear it also means that you can only get services if you sell a certain amount.

If that resonates with your spirit of independence, then I'd suggest contacting them to clarify the details for what would actually happen if you got the points and then got the services.

Here's an interview with CEO Brady Deaton. He makes it sound pretty good but here's my other concern about Idefi:

Would you want to be promoted by a company who failed to successfully promote their own crowdfunding campaign?

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.