It remains uncertain when (or even whether) Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom will be extradited from New Zealand to the US to face trial. In the meantime, he’s cracking on with a new service first mooted back in December 2011: Megabox. Back then, Dotcom described it as “a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations direct to consumers and allowing artists to keep 90% of earnings”.
It hasn’t been shelved. Dotcom has posted a teaser screenshot of the service on Twitter, saying “The major Record Labels thought Megabox is dead. Artists rejoice. It is coming and it will unchain you.” However, the slogan on the screenshot – “Unlimited space for all your music” – makes it sound more like a cloud locker service from consumers’ point of view.
Does Megabox have a hope of succeeding? Dotcom is an unlikely artists’ champion, with his mansion, cars and Bond villain-esque lifestyle. It’s also unclear how Megabox would do a better job at “unchaining” artists than the number of other well-established D2C tools. Which is not to say there isn’t room for more competition in that space – just that Megaupload may not be the ideal spawning ground for it.