What Is Audius?
While Bitcoin is proudly positioned as a digital analog of gold, the Audius project aims to become an improved analog of Spotify or SoundCloud on the blockchain. Audius developers have set themself a Promethean task, namely to return freedom and control to the artists.
Audius is a community-driven music platform where artists and their fans can interact directly, without any intermediaries. The platform seeks to democratize the music industry and exclude expensive intermediaries, such as record labels or music platforms, who have seized power into their own hands and are taking massive shares from the sales of songs or albums. According to some reports, musical artists receive a meager 12% of sales, the rest goes into the pockets of the label. Audius promises fair conditions where musicians will be able to receive 90% of their income from their music.
Who Are the Founders of Audius?
The platform’s founders are two computer scientists, Roneil Rumburg and Forrest Browning. The guys sincerely believe that blockchain technology can eradicate the music industry’s shortcomings. In addition, they saw the potential of cryptocurrency from the very beginning, and they were those who invested in Bitcoin at the down of its development. Rumburg and Browning started working on the platform back in 2018. Inspired by the idea of creating an honest, transparent, and secure music platform, they began fundraising. During the Series A funding round, which included General Catalyst, Lightspeed, and Pantera Capital, the developers raised more than $5.5 million. The platform’s potential was also noted by the Binance Labs team, who conducted an additional round of fundraising and raised another $1.25 million. The mainnet was launched on September 24, 2019.
What Makes Audius Unique?
Within Audius, the artists choose the conditions for their content to be monetized. For example, you can broadcast your tracks for free to attract attention. Or get a one-time payment that gives the user full access to the musician’s media projects. Or sell songs in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The platform allows musicians to have complete and sole control over their music, ensuring security and decentralization with the help of node operators.
On Audius, any artist can download and start monetizing their creativity. To do this, it is not necessary to sign contracts with money-hungry labels and have millions of subscribers. The platform developers want to return the power to artists, removing numerous intermediaries from the equation. Within Audius, 90% of the revenue goes to music authors and 10% to node operators. It is important to note that the platform does not reduce the income level of musicians.
Additional rewards are also provided for artists in the form of AUDIO tokens for achievements, such as the five most popular tracks or the five most popular playlists.
Audius in a Nutshell
The Audius decentralized platform was developed from scratch as a streaming platform for hosting music. It unites musicians and their fans, opening up modern ways of interaction, such as fan-tokens and fair monetization. Audius includes the following components:
- AUDIO token. These are utility tokens that feed the ecosystem. With the help of AUDIO developers, encourage ecosystem participants to maintain security and be active in the service.
- Content nodes. This is where user tracks are placed, and the owners manage and grant access permissions. Any user can become a content node and post their works. The artist does not need to rely on other nodes. It turns out to maintain full control over your projects due to control over encryption keys.
The system randomly selects content nodes for artists who don’t want to bother with maintaining nodes and just want to distribute their tracks. If the chosen node switches to offline mode, the blockchain will replace it with an active one without involving the artist.
- Content Ledger. A structured list of all nodes. Each piece of content is linked to nodes and creators.
- Discovery nodes. Interface for searching for information on the register of nodes in the ecosystem.
Finally, an essential element is the governance mechanism. With its help, users will be able to make their proposals for changes to the Audius protocol or vote on other people’s proposals. Thus, the development of the ecosystem depends on the community in many aspects. All files distributed through Audius should always be highly accessible, decentralized, and independently verified. Hence, there are three groups of users: musicians (who share metadata), fans (who listen to tracks), and node operators (who are responsible for the validity of transactions in the protocol).
It is the presence of its token that ensures the exclusivity of the project. It ensures the long-term validity of the protocol and the stimulation of users to join the project. AUDIO has three key functions:
- Provide owners with access to exclusive options.
- Ensuring security.
- Providing management.
The network algorithm distributes tokens to participants with the maximum number of listeners or those with the most activity on social networks. AUDIO staking allows you to earn and secure the project. Moreover, Musicians can create their own fan tokens using AUDIO.
Over the past couple of decades, the technology of creating and distributing music has changed dramatically. A team of producers and sound engineers is no longer required to create tracks; anyone can use inexpensive software at home. In addition, music distribution no longer requires factories producing physical media, as well as logistics services to deliver recordings to stores; music platforms have allowed artists to distribute their creations independently.
Audius has every chance to become the most famous music platform. The project allows you to monetize recordings, create a fan base and share the process of working with it, and share tracks with the world without signing contracts. The platform has already been mastered by such musicians as deadmau5, Rezz, 3LAU, The Stafford Brothers, and others.
In August 2021, against the background of the integration of Audius with TikTok, the value of the token soared by more than 100% per day. As a result, artists have the opportunity to transfer their tracks to TikTok, where users can use them to create short videos. As a result of such cooperation, it is safe to say that Audius is racing towards success by leaps and bounds.