Kim Dotcom’s (pictured, looking like a villain from The Running Man) involvement in the music industry has to date closely resembled a badly directed 80’s action film, so its perhaps fitting that the streaming service he developed has now launched and is called ‘Baboom’.
The platform formerly know as ‘Megabox’ is now live and offers a fairly interesting take on a streaming service, with the freemium option only allowing users access to one hundred tracks at any one time and certain content restricted to premium-users only- A model that Spotify is reportedly finally considering after years of resisting a more tiered approach.
Even more intriguing is the service’s approach to artist royalties- each premium user’s subscription is divided up between the artists that user specifically listens to as opposed to going into an overall pot, answering another gripe that artists have long held with streaming services.
For example, if you pay a $10 subscription and choose to binge on Bowie all month, the Thin White Duke will receive a 90% cut of the income, provided he has a Baboom pro account of course- though as explored below, it’s unlikely you will ever find his albums on there.
Baboom’s Head Of Content Mikee Tucker said: “We have created a solution that will attract quality independent artists and labels. Greater returns, direct payments, fair trade streaming and an innovative royalty engine are some of the key factors that will drive uptake from artists. We are here for the long game and the quality niche content that will be attracted to Baboom will in turn attract the fans”.
Of course, they are struggling with catalogue given that their approach is to target artists as opposed to doing label wide deals. One also suspects that despite the rebrand and severing ties with Dotcom, there is still a reasonable amount of contempt from the record industry for anything with Dotcom’s grubby paws on it. So is this more of a platform for emerging artists? And does it matter how good the deal is if the shop shelves are barren? It is interesting that Baboom are shaking up established ways of doing things within streaming. However, when it comes to streaming and technology in general, people tend to swim with the fishes (though those still doing business with Dotcom may end up sleeping with them instead).
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