Musician-turned-tech-entrepreneur Shem Booth-Spain demonstrates his passion for revolutionizing the music industry through Blarecast, a music platform poised to empower artists and content creators by enabling them to own and monetize their data using the power of BSV blockchain.
Shem’s journey began in the world of music. From a young age, he immersed himself in creating music, from traditional rock and roll to electronic sounds. His experience as an independent, unsigned musician in London made him aware of the challenges musicians face in self-distribution. As he points out, blockchain’s potential in the arts is still largely untapped, and he is passionate about leveraging technology to empower content creators. Shem believes that Bitcoin can play a significant role in this transformation. As he says, “Bitcoin is a medium, and our understanding is growing of what we conceive Bitcoin to be able to do.”
His initial encounter with blockchain came when he and his band inscribed a message onto the BTC blockchain. He thought of storing more substantial data on the blockchain; however, as he points out, BTC had its limitations. It wasn’t until the restoration of the original Bitcoin protocol as BSV blockchain in 2019 that Shem and his team embarked on the “Data blast” operation, where they stored various data types on the BSV blockchain. This led Shem to realize that Bitcoin’s potential goes way beyond data inscriptions. “I think that’s actually a very interesting story of how we now understand Bitcoin in a lot bigger viewpoint than just inscribing little bits of information,” he says.
Funded by venture capitalist firm Ayre Ventures, Blarecast is developing both iOS and Android apps, with a focus on ensuring a seamless and enjoyable user experience. Blarecast facilitates instant payments for music consumption, eliminating the lengthy delays often associated with traditional music distribution systems. As Shem puts it, “Bitcoin is a technology of empowerment,” and Blarecast aims to simplify and streamline the payment process for both artists and listeners.
When asked about approaching big record companies, Shem says that the key lies in conveying the usefulness and applicability of blockchain technology rather than delving into its technicalities. The music industry has experienced challenges, from piracy to the emergence of streaming platforms like Spotify. Now, with Web3 technologies and the introduction of peer-to-peer payments and NFTs, more business opportunities are coming to light. As he states, “It’s about why this technology is useful and important to a prospective partner or a client.”
Blarecast will allow users to make micropayments using a BSV wallet. However, Shem acknowledges the need for user-friendly payment options, “multiple tokens, multiple currencies, any fiat currency, so that whatever the consumer wants to pay, there’s a seamless choice to do that.” Blarecast will ensure a seamless payment experience for a global audience.
Currently living in Japan, Shem is optimistic about blockchain adoption in the country. He notes that past crypto speculative bubbles have tainted perceptions of blockchain technology, leading businesses and individuals to be more cautious. However, he believes that once a few businesses experience the speed and efficiency of blockchain technology, more will follow.
Blarecast’s goal is to build a stable business that benefits artists worldwide, and Shem envisions a modular ecosystem that can adapt and evolve with emerging technologies. He stresses, “we’re trying to build something that’s got longevity.”
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