Discover more from BlkPodNews™
An Interview With Yousef Ali, CEO of Blast Radio
Home of the Blast Box, Blast Mic, and Blast Radio Platform
This Post Is Sponsored By Blast Radio
First tell us about you… who is Yousef Ali? What’s your story?
I’m an Egyptian-American musician turned entrepreneur that grew up in the DC area and has been in New York for just over 10 years. My background has always been at the intersection of media, technology, and culture. I grew up as a musician and always had a passion for music of all kinds. As a kid, I was a classically trained pianist for many years.
One of my first jobs was working with Viacom and BET as a digital strategist. I was young and they were looking for ways to modernize their approach to diversify content into more digital channels. After that gig, I better understood the power of digital media and the role it plays in building a creators’ career.
Next, I started a company focused on helping artists find their most passionate fans. The company worked well, but we were a little early on the trend of the creator economy so there wasn’t enough scale to sustain the business.
After that, I turned my attention to my current venture, Blast. With this company, we set out to create a simplified way to empower anyone in the world to reach listeners. Audio isn’t easy to create (as everyone reading this newsletter knows). I wanted to make it easy.
What is Blast?
Blast is a platform for audio creators to stream live audio to fans around the world. It’s a free mobile app available on Android and iOS.
To stream, creators use one of our three streaming products.
Blast Box is the best product for someone that already has a good home audio setup and just wants to simplify the process of going live. You connect any audio source (mic, mixer, interface) to Blast Box with an RCA cable then press one button to stream live. This is especially popular among DJs and musicians who don’t always want to be forced to use software.
Blast Mic is better for those that either don’t have an existing setup or who want to be more mobile. It’s a handheld-portable microphone that streams over Wi-Fi with the press of one button.
We also have Broadcast Software, which can be dropped into any DAW (Pro Tools, Audacity, Logic etc) and will livestream any audio on the channel it’s added to – again, with one button.
Put simply – it really is giving the power of having a full professional radio station to anyone that wants it.
Blast Mic sounds like a killer product… how would a podcaster use it?
I think there are tons of use cases for podcasters. First and foremost, it’s a much simpler way to reach fans with audio. You literally turn the mic on, press one button, and you’re immediately live. That said, I would never encourage someone to use it as a replacement for their podcast (unless they felt so inclined on their own).
For podcasters, I would use our platform as an additive medium. If your fully produced, two-hour show comes out every Tuesday, then use Blast Mic Wednesday to Monday to release more informal, possibly even short-form content that keeps your audience engaged. One cool thing about the product is that you can download your past streams. So if you end up really enjoying something you did on air, you can always download it and incorporate it into the full podcast or release it as an episode of its own.
Another cool use case is the mobile aspect of the product. It’s hard to pack up a full podcasting rig and take it with you to an event or a coffee shop. With Blast Mic, you can create content on the go. As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, you’re good to go live. I’ve personally done shows at music festivals, night clubs, and coffee shops in addition to my own home.
What are some of your favorite podcasts? What about streamers on Blast?
For podcasts, there are just so many. A couple I’ve consistently gone back to are Crash Dummies Podcast and 99% Invisible.
For Blast streamers, I honestly love them all. Not unlike the actual medium of podcasting, It’s so humbling to think you can create a product and then have people out in the world consume and love it. One streamer that does come to mind is Carl Craig. He’s a grammy-nominated DJ and composer that I’ve been listening to since I was a kid. He was an early adopter of the product and has been very supportive. He does a lot of live DJ sets on Blast, but he also uses Blast Mic to do more thoughtful talk shows. For February, I believe he’s actually doing a black-history-month stream series, which I’m looking forward to.
Where to find Blast Radio:
Check out the website / pick up a streaming device: https://www.blastradio.com/
Download the free app: https://www.blastradio.com/pages/download-blast-radio-mobile