Kim Dotcom‘s new music streaming service — Baboom — is still to go live, but the Mega CEO has given us a look at what is in store after releasing a limited preview that features none other than him, and his first-ever album ‘Good Times’.
Dotcom has described the service as a combination of Spotify and iTunes, and the design is pretty slick. In addition to music streaming — as you’d well expect — artist pages include a bio, photo and video galleries, and the option to download content that an artist has designated. In his case, Dotcom is making his album available for free — “artists should make their music available for free, and fans should only pay for it if they really like it,” he says, asking fans to prove his theory to the music industry.
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Most of the site is still off-limits as the service has not fully launched yet, but there are hints that users will be able to curate a library of selected tracks, and hit a jukebox mode for random tunes.
The presence of an ‘activity’ tab suggests there is a social element to Baboom, but that wouldn’t be a big surprise since it is a staple part of established streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and others.
Dotcom’s own artist profile is the only one that is available right now, but artists and early adopters keen to get on board can provide their email address for updates.
Interestingly, Baboom is offering viewers a chance to earn money by getting their creative juices flowing.
The best remixes of five of his songs will earn their creators $5,000, while $10,000 is on offer for the best music videos for each song. We presume this is an offer to promote ‘Good Times’ and Baboom together, but it remains possible that this is the kind of engagement that Dotcom is looking to foster between artists and fans that use the service.
Despite launching Baboom, his second new venture following Mega.co.nz — which launched a year ago today — Germany-born Dotcom remains on bail charged with a series of offenses relating to his previous business — Megaupload — that was shut down by the US government two years ago.
Speaking at the time, the Depart of Justice said the Megaupload case was “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever”, and we doubt they take too kindly to another Dotcom business, irrespective of whether it is entirely lawful or not.
Can Baboom succeed?
Dotcom and Baboom are starting a long way behind the Web’s top streaming companies — which are about to be joined by Beats, which will launch its own music service this week. Dotcom has previously enjoyed a good relationship and rapport with many artists in the music industry — including P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West — and he will need to summon those relationships, and more, to bring top talent and popular music to the site.
The site won’t officially launch until later this year, by which time users will have the option to download music for free if they install an ad plug-in with their browser. It’s still not entirely clear how that will work, but it could prove to be an interesting differentiator for Baboom.
Headline image via Sandra Mu / AFP / Getty Images