Vinyl Crowdfunding Site Hifidelics Readies First Projects, Seeks Feedback

Hifi-logo-type Hifidelics is a crowdfunding and fan feedback startup for vinyl album releases currently in beta. Unnlike sites that  just focus on the fundraising process, Hifidelics will also physically produce and distribute funded releases. I spoke with Hifidelics founder Erik Peterson recently about his newly launched site and his plans to release vinyl albums with a focus on rock, hip hop and electronica.

Hifidelics emerged, in part, from Peterson's previous project PLUGO.LA, a social network and digital marketplace for indie musicians and fans. Unfortunately, PLUGO.LA was launched just in time for our most recent economic collapse that led to its demise though the site remains online.

But Hifidelics also results from Peterson's growing feeling that digital downloads do not seem as meaningful as physical products which can be held in one's hands and evoke deeper memories and responses.  So, in addition to funding records, he hopes to encourage fan involvement, via feedback about specific projects, and to sell an experience of being part of an artist's work beyond the purchase of an album.

Current terms and guidelines are available for those who are considering this approach. Funding is limited to the design and production of the album and artists must record the album themselves. In addition, artists are expected to conceptualize an album design, ideally along with their fans, that will then be realized by a professional designer.

The Hifidelics homepage currently features a number of example projects. Clicking through takes you to an individual project page which includes a basic presentation, a journal to share updates about the project, space for feedback, bio and recognition of supporters.

Given the newly public nature of Hifidelics, Peterson would greatly appreciate receiving feedback on his approach from musicians and music fans via the feedback and support tab found on each page of the site. If you're interested in this unique approach to crowdfunding, now is an excellent moment to share your perspective.

I should point out that Peterson toured with a band and had a small record label in the 90's before getting into online marketing. PLUGO.LA and Hifidelics are actually his second and third web projects. He started with a web experiment called Jamphetamines which was a video sharing site for indie musicians from which he also learned quite a bit.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He is currently relaunching Flux Research to pursue his long-standing obsession with web business models. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. Site design looks amateurish and, hence, does not inspire a lot of trust. Feedback? Start a kickstarter campaign to raise money to hire a proper design team to build the site :).

  2. Are you kidding? How could HypeBot stoop so low as to cover this – the website looks like two 10-year-olds made it for a school project.

  3. I think the issue of design is paramount in any web project. I’ve noticed that people are often dismissive of well grounded projects that aren’t well-designed and big up projects that look great but don’t have too much to offer.
    So, despite the widely heralded startup philosophy of “launch early, launch often” and “if it works perfectly you’ve waited too long to launch,” I think design is a key issue for early success.

  4. Thanks for checking out the site, guys! I realize it isn’t top notch design. We have actually been tweaking design as we go along (you should have seen version one). However, we spent months on the coding it’s very professional. If you can temporarily “pardon our dust”, I’d love to hear your feedback on what we’re doing or any constructive criticism.

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