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  1. After several years of development, Kim Dotcom's much-anticipated music streaming platform Baboom is gearing up for its public release. Baboom aims to disrupt the music industry by closing the bridge between artists and fans. This includes a higher revenue share for artists and free music streaming in a lossless format for fans. 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. Source: TorrentFreak
  2. Kim Dotcom's emerging music service Baboom is inviting would-be investors to grab a piece of what should be an intriguing startup. Speaking with TorrentFreak the senior advisor handling the offer says that not only is it tracking "exceptionally well" but the company is being "overwhelmed" with support from the global indie music industry. It’s been under development for more than two years and in just a few months Kim Dotcom’s Baboom should be ready to launch. In the meantime the company has been outlining its vision for a listing on the Australian stock market. Baboom’s 41-page prospectus invites investors to take a share in a company aiming to provide a special service to both artists and users. While allowing the former to pick up an industry-beating 90% of the spoils, the latter will have the opportunity to listen to music for free, a combination that Baboom hopes will prove a tempting mix to potential investors. The company is issuing 11,250,000 shares at AUS $0.40 each, with the aim of securing “sophisticated or professional investors” able to pump in a minimum of $20,000 each. The target is AUS $4.5 million and according to Ben Yeo, senior adviser at Melbourne-based Novus Capital, the company is well on the way. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Yeo says there has been a large amount of interest from not only within Australia and New Zealand, but also from Europe and Asia. “While the offer has only been marketed to a select number of sophisticated investors, the offer is tracking incredibly well and we have extended the offering for an additional week so as [baboom CEO] Grant Edmundson can present to a number of potential cornerstone investors in Australia who have requested an in-person meeting with the Baboom Ltd CEO,” Yeo explains. The prospectus describes Baboom as a “cloud streaming and download service”, with users able to store their music library for retrieval anywhere in the world on both desktop and mobile devices. It’s estimated that users will get between 10 and 15 albums for free each year in the ad-supported model while their “locker” will max out at 50 gigabytes. It’s probably no coincidence that this limit is the same as that offered by Dotcom’s Mega.co.nz, with the prospectus citing links between Baboom and Mega as a “competitive advantage”. Not everything will be centralized, however. Baboom says it will also offer “unique user ‘peer2peer’ content streaming” features, with a “jukebox” listed as an example use. As previously reported, Baboom will also offer industry-leading audio quality via its FLAC streaming service and will integrate a worldwide ticketing and merchandising solution. Also of interest to investors is Baboom’s target markets. The company says it will focus on under-serviced regions with high growth potential to include South East Asia, Australasia, Southern and East Africa and Europe. Like Spotify before it, one of Baboom’s key aims is target markets with piracy problems. The company says it will deploy “robust marketing” in order to provide a legitimate music streaming and downloading platform in these regions. But while Spotify has achieved its success with the full support of the major labels, it’s impossible to see a situation in which Warner, Universal and Sony warm to the idea of dealing with a company affiliated with Kim Dotcom. That reality is certainly not lost on the management of Baboom, who detail the company’s market strategy as focusing on “independent labels, producer archives and unpublished material.” And according to Novus Capital’s Ben Yeo, things couldn’t be going any better on that front. “What Grant and I have been overwhelmed with is the level of support we have been receiving from the global independent music industry who have thrown their support behind Baboom and are eager to show their support by uploading content onto the platform,” Yeo told TF. On any platform of this type, content is definitely king, so potential investors will be encouraged that Baboom is receiving good support as it prepares for takeoff. The prospectus envisions a fourth quarter release for the service, but according to Yeo there is much work to be done. “By the time the offer closes I envisage the company to be in a strong position to develop its backend systems, mobile platform and content acquisition prior to the platform’s hard launch either late December 2014 or January 2015,” Yeo concludes. The early signs suggest that at least in its early days Baboom is unlikely to prompt a mass migration away from services such as Spotify. However, its unique way of remunerating artists could prove very tempting, particularly when played out against a backdrop of traditional middle-men struggling to remain both profitable and relevant in a changing market. Source: TorrentFreak
  3. January 20th, 2014, 10:52 GMT · By Gabriela Vatu Kim Dotcom’s love for music is most likely what pushed him to build Baboom, his brand new music streaming service. Baboom is yet to go live, but Dotcom was nice enough to give everyone a sneak peak at what is in store. Dotcom says the service is a combination of Spotify and iTunes. When it comes to looks, however, the service looks a lot better, thanks to the eye-catching graphics, animations and overall look of the user interface. It will provide music streaming, as well as artist pages complete with bio, photo and video galleries, as well as the option to download content that an artist marks as available for free. Currently, you can get to see a little bit of the site. Since it’s not yet officially launched, there are features that are certainly hidden for now. However, it looks like it will be possible to put together libraries of selected tracks, but also to listen to random tunes (just like on Spotify). Dotcom’s artist profile is the only one available right now. The site is also a way to get a preview to his brand new album, called “Good Times.” http://news.softpedia.com/news/Check-Out-Baboom-Kim-Dotcom-s-New-Music-Streaming-Service-418671.shtml http://baboom.com http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/dotcom-soft-launches-music-service-baboom-releases-cd-ck-150788
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