Kim Dotcom’s answer to Spotify and iTunes—Baboom—will soft launch on Monday

The first artist to be featured on the music service? Kim Dotcom himself.

by Chris Keall Jan 20 2014, 2:00am GMTST

Kim Dotcom’s major “Party Party” at Auckland’s Vector Arena may have been cancelled, but the mogul is still going through with a “soft launch” of Baboom, the soon-to-be music service formerly known as Megabox. returns to the placeholder above for now, but an official company press release states Dotcom will debut his “artist page” on Monday. This soft launch is intended to “give everyone a flavor of what’s to come when the site is fully unleashed in late 2014,” according to the press release.

(That’s right, Dotcom’s “artist page.” His new album, Good Times, will be featured on Baboom for the site’s launch. For a small sample of Dotcom’s musical past, he infamously rapped about New Zealand politician John Banks and dug at his content-creator foes in the “Megaupload Mega Song.”)

The press release doesn’t specify if Good Times will explicitly be sold through Baboom, but Dotcom has said the album will be available through all major online retailers. In New Zealand, it’s already on iTunes for NZ$18.99 and in the Google Play Store for $13.99. Spotify and Rdio currently carry it there as well.

And to underline his platform neutrality—or possibly his sense of humor—Dotcom has also released Good Times on compact disc and sent review copies out on CD.

The new “late 2014” timetable for Baboom is the service’s latest slip. At the January 20, 2013 launch of Mega, Dotcom said his music service would follow in June 2013. In November, he told Wired it would be “a few months” after January 20.

Dotcom told the New Zealand Herald on Sunday that the launch will be backed by an extensive radio campaign and advertisements on the back of 100 buses. If that sounds familiar, Dotcom also had a New Zealand radio campaign lined up for the launch of Mega. Those ads were booked on eight stations owned by MediaWorks, but the ads were pulled within hours of going to air. A MediaWorks insider blamed alleged pressure from music labels; MediaWorks would only say the ads were shipped off air for unique “commercial reasons.”

The new radio campaign seems unlikely to run into similar problems. While Dotcom’s Mega launch was cold-shouldered by the entertainment industry, a number of musicians and DJs attended his Good Times preview party on December 13—including presenters from MediaWorks’ station The Edge.

Ultimately, Dotcom describes Baboom as a cross between Spotify and iTunes. He said some paid content will be available free to those who install an ad substitution browser plugin. Originally, Dotcom planned to launch it all—both Good Times and Baboom—at the 20,000 capacity Vector Arena, capping the night with his 40th birthday celebration. But in light of the event cancellation, he now says “I decided to have no birthday party at all this year.”

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