A new audio-only streaming service has just been launched for DJs, called Blast Radio.
It allows artists to broadcast directly to the Blast Radio apps on iOS and Android, with streams only staying live on the service for 24 hours before disappearing – although artists can download their own performances afterwards to keep, if they wish.
It basically seems like a music version of Snapchat… a place for artists to sketch, practise, share unfinished work – “more after party than main room”, to paraphrase the company themselves when describing where they think this will land with DJs.
Matthew Dear, Carl Craig, the Juan Maclean and more are already using the service, which launches properly in the middle of the month, when the hardware goes on general sale.
How it works
To broadcast, you need a Blast Box, a small piece of hardware that you set up via your phone, but that can then broadcast independently of your phone or laptop – you just hit a big red button on it to “go live”. The box costs $199, but the service is free.
The Blast Box streams uncompressed audio to the Blast service at a 16-bit 48kHz sample rate, and broadcasts are started and stopped with a single red button. There’s a stereo RCA input where you plug in your DJ gear, and a 3.5mm stereo output (for monitoring with headphones). It only has a three-hour battery life, though, and Blast Radio recommends having it plugged in via the supplied micro USB lead where possible.
App users can “tip” broadcasters they want to support, with “half of the tip money going to the artists and Blast collecting a small percentage of the donation”.
We’ve got lots of questions about this. Judging by the hardware, and the very small number of people currently on the service (again, it’s not properly launched yet), we do wonder how it plans to get traction.
We’d be interested to understand more about where “tip” money goes, especially as there is no mention of anything users do being licensed on the platform – so unlike with Mixcloud, are the artists getting nothing from this?
I mean personally, I quite like the idea of just going live and playing all my weird ambient and chillout tracks that I never play anywhere else… but the question is, would anyone else be interested?
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It’s certainly intriguing. We’ll have a review soon, but meanwhile you can find out more at the Blast Radio site.