Remember Baboom? It was Kim Dotcom’s music distribution service, coming on strong like a mix of SoundCloud and MySpace (or, as he put it, an “iTunes-Spotify hybrid competitor”) that soft-launched in January 2014. A year and a half on, it’s finally launched properly, albeit with Dotcom long-departed from the company. And, indeed, from its service: fans of the MegaUpload mogul’s music (both of you) will be disappointed to find his albums are nowhere to be found on Baboom.
Some of his ideas remain, in what the company is pitching as “Fair Trade Streaming”. That means artists upload their own music, and get 90% of the revenues from fans streaming it – including dividing people’s subscription payments among the artists that they stream, rather than a Spotify-style big pot divided by overall plays. “Greater returns, direct payments, fair trade streaming and an innovative royalty engine are some of the key factors that will drive uptake from artists,” claimed head of content Mikee Tucker as Baboom launched. Established artists aren’t on the service for now, but with Dotcom having left last October (“The music industry hates me”) Baboom has a better chance of establishing partnerships with key labels and musicians.