Kim Dotcom Cuts Ties With Baboom

Kim Dotcom has cut ties with Baboom, the direct-to-fan music service he soft-launched in January from his home base in New Zealand.

He said it was a necessary step if the service was to gain support from the global music industry. He tweeted, “Goodbye Baboom. I was holding you back. The music industry hates me. You’ll do better without me. Good luck, my love.”

His departure was confirmed by Baboom CEO Grant Edmundson.

“The transaction means Dotcom no longer has any equity or role in Baboom, nor any relationship with the company. Kim is moving on to focus on other projects and both camps wish each other well with future plans.”

Dotcom sold his family trust’s 46 percent stake to Michael Sorensen’s Vig Limited, which already holds 45 percent ownership in the company.

Set up in the wake of the Megaupload takedown in January 2012, Dotcom promised it would introduce a revolutionary model through which artists could sell their products directly to fans and be paid for it.

But it soon became obvious Dotcom’s association with Baboom was holding back signing deals with record labels.

These long accused Megaupload of harboring piracy and rankled at Dotcom’s public attacks on their attitudes. There were delays in an official Baboom launch, most recently to be in the last quarter of 2014. Going into damage control, Dotcom repeatedly emphasized that he had very little to do with its daily operations.

In July, Baboom announced plans to raise A$4.5 million ($3.9 million) by listing on the Australian Stock Exchange later this year.

In the same month, the company hired Tony Smith, finance director of Sony Music Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand, as its chief financial officer.

The split from its founder means that Baboom can firm up its launch, now set for the first quarter of 2015, according to Edmundson. “Both music fans and music makers alike have plenty to look forward to,” he pointed out. “Baboom’s distinctive design is a world away from the cookie-cutter streaming music services. The platform will be open to artists of all kinds, will support high-quality FLAC files, faster downloads and analytics that have artists connect with fans around the world.”