There cannot be a better place to be for the launch of Mega.co.nz than Kim Dotcom’s mansion. TNW’s Owen Williams was there and apart from enjoying the great sights inside the mansion also talked to Dotcom about the launch of Mega and also the future of free content.
Inevitably, the first question that was raised by the media at the table was “just how popular was Mega this morning?”
Dotcom smiled. He didn’t want to share exact figures – and plans to reveal more later tonight at a special press event for well over 200 attendees, but did say that in the first two hours the site saw over 250,000 sign ups. Even better? They were overwhelmed by just how many people wanted to actually pay for the product. In fact we have known that Mega has already had more than 1 million sign ups within five hours of its launch.
On the timing of the launch, Dotcom said that “this should not be seen as us mocking Hollywood or giving the middle finger to them – we started developing this new business last September. We are not being arrogant, it’s us using our previous experience with Megaupload to have the best product out there”
When asked about if he held resentment about the raid on his property Dotcom replied “yes, of course. We didn’t expect it at all and felt it was extremely unfair. 220 people lost their jobs [from Megaupload] overnight. We couldn’t pay them.” He went on to say that he thought the anger would take a long time to subside – certainly at least not until the extradition case is closed.
Dotcom pointed out that “Mega doesn’t use any existing technology. The servers were built from the ground up so there is no way that they can be exploited because it’s our own technology.” Additionally, Kim said that “everyone involved in building the site has a background in information security” which meant a lot of care had gone into building security in from the start.
On the topic of New Zealand, Dotcom has big ambitions for the country. He says that there are multiple goals for the company in New Zealand:
- Mega wants to create jobs in New Zealand and keep them there. They want to hire back their old employees where they can.
- Mega wants to officially list on the New Zealand companies register and the stock exchange.
- Mega wants to contribute to bringing a second internet cable to the country.
As the round table wrapped up, Dotcom said that they were overwhelmed by the response of people to the launch of Mega today. Over the last 48 hours, 100 journalists were given early access to the site and the buzz was incredible. He’s relieved, stating that now that he’s got a product that speaks for itself behind him people will know that “he’s not just tweeting big words.”
Keep reading, there is definitely a lot more to come.