One of the most recent and unique entries in the world of crypto is undoubtedly the music sharing and streaming service Audius. This unique decentralized service uses the blockchain to give power back to the artists by ensuring that they run the whole platform.
Audius brings in blockchain technology with streaming services and combines these with specific social media features. It is a one-stop shop for music lovers and social media fanatics looking for a platform that will give them the best of both worlds.
What is Audius?
One of the biggest criticisms within the music streaming service industry is that artists are unfairly compensated for their work. For an industry that made over $13 billion last year alone, the musicians who enabled the platforms to make this much money don’t get their due.
That is the issue that Audius seeks to resolve. As a crypto-powered platform that provides music sharing and streaming services, Audius allows artists to exercise more control over the monetization of their music. It also enables them to connect with their fans directly.
What makes Audius stand out is that it is an entirely open-source platform. A community of fans, artists, and developers come together to run the system, and it is one of the only non-financial crypto services.
Audius is growing in terms of popularity by the day. By July 2021, it had crossed over 5.3 million users. As of August 2021, it had a market cap of $1.2 billion.
How Does Audius Work?
The primary goal of Audius is to ensure that artists have more power over their work and how much money they make out of it. The platform does this by allowing artists to produce timestamped records for all their work. It is then secured and kept safe by a decentralized network that consists entirely of node operators.
It started its work on the POA network, which is an Ethereum sidechain. But it later moved certain elements of its service to the Solana blockchain. Moreover, developers can also build their own apps on Audius so that listeners have access to a unique audio catalog.
The best part about Audius is that it is easy to understand and accessible to all. You don’t have to be technically aware to use the platform or understand how it works. Co-founder Roneil Rumburg believes that Audius is user-friendly in a sense that is comparable to Google, SoundCloud, or Facebook.
How Does Audius Bring Together Music and Blockchain?
The three primary groups that run the network are the artists, fans, and node operators. Audius functions through a decentralized network of nodes and comes with its own cryptocurrency.
Ethereum-based ERC-20 token Audius (AUDIO) runs the entire network. It serves three basic functions:
- Governance: All staked coins and proposals are taken to a vote so that everyone has an equal say in coding changes.
- Network Security: Node operators earn rewards from the network by staking tokens to run a node. That ensures maximum security and safety for all users at all times.
- Features: Artists who put out their music on Audius will gain access to premium features, such as displaying NFT crypto collectibles on the site.
The platform will immediately reward specific achievements with AUDIO tokens: top 5 trending tracks, top 5 weekly trending tracks, top 10 API apps. Uploads by verified Twitter or Instagram accounts are also granted AUDIO tokens as rewards.
While the system’s structure is admirable and functions smoothly, it is yet to figure out a more consistent and regular monetization policy. The plan is to distribute 90% of the token supply to its artists.
What Makes Audius Stand Out?
The most important and obvious feature that makes Audius different from other streaming and music sharing services is entirely based on blockchain technology. Everyone gets the chance to earn crypto money.
Artists upload their music, and listeners can access them for free, and everyone involved will have the opportunity to make money in the process. The concept of collectively governing and managing a service such as Audius is also uniquely associated only with blockchain.
Moreover, there is no vetting or verification that artists need to go through before uploading their music. All they need to do is go through the free sign-up process and click on “upload track.”
Music streaming quality is also comparable to larger streaming giants such as Spotify, and it stands at 320kbps. Even though this is good quality and will ensure a smooth listening experience for the audience, it is not up to the mark next to other companies such as Amazon Music HD or Tidal HiFi.
The decentralized nature of the platform also makes it a safe space to release all types of music, including genres that use music as means of protest and dissent.
What Type of Music is Available on Audius?
Audius is largely an indie platform that seeks to promote smaller artists who are just starting their careers and want to make it big. However, major-label artists are free to experiment and release their music on Audius to reach a wider audience.
There are approximately 100,000 artists on Audius, including Skrillex, deadmau5, Odesza, Disclosure, Diplo, and Alina Baraz.
Usually, artists start by uploading a track or two and gauge the audience’s response. Depending on the popularity and reach, they slowly start releasing more. That is heavily based on the feedback that they get from the listener.
Blockchain technology and crypto enthusiasts believe that platforms like Audius are paving the way for the future by ensuring an equitable and fair music experience for artists and listeners alike.
Audius recently partnered with TikTok, and nearly 75% of TikTok users in the United States say that they now use Audius to discover new and under-the-radar music. The partnership with TikTok is bound to take the company even further in the future.