Will Santa Claus Disrupt Music Distribution?

In addition to iTunes depositing MP3s straight to your computer, and BitTorrent charging for what is otherwise worthless, you may soon be getting your music from another unlikely content delivery service: Santa Claus. Yes, that jolly old soul of mystery, who usually confines his deliveries to Christmas Eve, has of recent months upturned the entire music distribution marketplace with his new start-up – Snta.

After an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign seeking to “disrupt first-generation reindeer games” raised more than six million dollars, Snta has firmly planted its footprint in the snow. This morning, dressed in customary black belt-cinched red-and-white suit and cap – which have become his product-launch trademarks – Snta’s co-founder and CEO Mr. Claus unveiled SleighBel, a new user-modifiable cloud-based storage service app, at many points ho-ho-hoing the crowd of journalists and businesspeople into veritable frenzy. Anticipating unprecedented growth, Mr. Claus moved his company in October from the North Pole to a disused warehouse in Williamsburg, where his team say they enjoy “bigger beards and better coffee.”

Similar forays into content delivery by the Easter Bunny (who launched eStrBx in late 2013) and the Stork’s fledgling Strk Corp. failed to generate the buzz Snta is currently relishing: Strk suffered from persistent bundling issues; and more disturbingly, eStrBx was charged with 2743 counts of sexual harassment on its first night of operation – none of them from clients. Both struggling companies have since been acquired, and shelved, by Apple. But following a strong I.P.O., Snta seems to be gaining traction where others fell short.

This could be because of its relative simplicity: orders are placed via Snta’s webshop, and delivered directly into users’ homes while they sleep. There is no signup required, and no software to install; however Snta has recently come under fire for its inherently intrusive platform – one startled customer reported seeing mommy kissing Santa Claus – and its questionable milk-and-cookie policy. Many have complained that a 4 x 4 foot chimney, the minimum bandwidth requirement, is still years away from becoming standard in most areas. And, as Naomi Klein uncovered in her latest exposé for the Guardian, the recent unexplained suicides of two elves have prompted an official inquiry into Snta’s dubious labour practices.

Whether or not Snta has the staying power of an Uber or Twitter remains to be seen: analysts project it will ultimately come down to whether consumers are naughty or nice. Partner and VP of marketing Mrs. Claus explained to Gizmodo, “Rooty toot toot and rummy tum tum.” But if its current “must own” status on “Mad Money” is any indication, we have only just glimpsed the beginning of Snta.