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Baboom: Kim Dotcom’s Spotify rival arrives at last


New streaming service offers artists a 90% share of the revenue

Baboom, the streaming music service originally set up by notorious file-sharing ringmaster Kim Dotcom, has finally launched – a year after Dotcom left the company. The service aims to take the fight to rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music by offering artists a 90% cut of the revenue earned from their music.

Dotcom, who fled to New Zealand after US authorities charged him with various offences relating to his controversial Megaupload service, originally announced plans to launch Baboom in 2013. However, he left the startup last year, claiming he was proving a hindrance. “Good bye @Baboom. I was holding u back. The music industry hates me. You’ll do better without me,” he tweeted last October.

Baboom combines both streaming and music downloads and offers two tiers of subscriptions. Free account holders can stream any of the music on the service, which like Spotify, will be interspersed with advertisements. A $7.39 premium account removes the ads and lets users build their own “collections” beyond the 100-song limit of free accounts. The service offers apps for both Android and iOS, and “lossless” playback on all accounts.  

What it doesn’t offer, however, is many artists you’re likely to have heard of. Baboom is clearly pitching towards independent artists rather than the major record labels, so you’re not about to roll up and stream One Direction, Adele or Madonna. In fact, we couldn’t find a single artist we recognised, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy listening to a few tracks and playlists. 

Baboom promises artists will collect 90% of the revenue from their music, and that “unlike traditional streaming”, the money will go directly to the artists rather than labels or agents. Its “Fair Trade Streaming” offers artists analytics so they can trace the number of plays and revenue earned by their tracks and albums.


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