Last summer Kim Dotcom resigned as Mega director to focus on other projects, including his Internet Party and upcoming music service Baboom.
The latter had its ‘soft launch’ in January featuring only one album, that of Kim Dotcom himself. A few months have passed since and Baboom is now gearing up for a full release.
Dotcom has been clear about his goal for the music service ever since it was first teased in 2011. By providing free music and compensating artists through advertising revenue, Dotcom believes he can decrease music piracy while giving artists proper compensation for their work.
But is that really doable? This week two of Baboom’s top executives spoke out on Baboom’s mission and some of the unrivaled features through which it hopes to disrupt the music industry.
Chief Technology Officer Marco Oliveira stresses that closing the gap between artists and fans is one of the main goals. One way to do this is by providing the best quality music possible, through lossless streaming of FLAC music files.
“Baboom is the first music streaming platform to support FLAC streaming, which delivers lossless audio. What this means, is that fans get to listen to music exactly how the artist intended. No degraded audio experience, you get an exact replica of what the artist recorded,” Oliveira says.
Streaming FLAC files will require a decent Internet connection, as a full music album can easily take up more than half a gigabyte. In addition to lossless streams, users will also be able to download tracks in FLAC format to listen to offline.
But the music quality is only part of the offer. For artists, Baboom wants to make it as simple as possible to share their work with the public and make a decent living while doing so. No strings attached.
“Artists should be in charge of their careers, instead of being locked in unfair agreements. Neither artists or fans care for this. All they care about is the music, and that’s what should matter,” Oliveira.
This vision is shared by Mikee Tucker, Baboom’s Head of Content and Platform, who has worked with independent artists for over a decade.
Tucker believes that Baboom can give artists full control over their music, and earn more than they would do through any of the major labels.
“For me there are two driving factors behind Baboom’s vision. Firstly, the spirit of true independence and artist freedom which inspires our vision to empower the artist and give control back to the creator. Secondly, the need for a solution to tackle declining revenues and outdated business models which inspires our vision innovate and disrupt,” Tucker says.
It may sound too good to be true, but Baboom believes it can generate enough revenue through its advertisement tool. This application works like an ad blocker, but instead of blocking ads it replaces a small percentage with Baboom’s own ads. Those who prefer not to install the app have the option to buy the music instead.
Most of the revenue will then flow directly to the artists with Baboom keeping a small share, 10 percent. This fraction pales in comparison to the amounts held back by the major labels.
While this may work in theory, in the end Baboom’s success will greatly depend on the content. Dotcom previously said that there are several “top artists” lined up for the launch, but who they are remains a mystery for now.
It’s no secret that Dotcom has several prominent connections in the music industry and it will be interesting to see which artists join him. In any case, there will definitely be plenty of attention for Baboom’s launch later this year.