Audius is a decentralized music streaming platform built on the Solana blockchain. It is managed by an open source community, where artists, fans and developers interact with each other through the AUDIO token. The platform allows users to pay artists directly with AUDIO tokens, eliminating the many intermediaries involved in artists’ income.
Audius currently has more than 6 million monthly users and has more than 200,000 artists on the platform. Additionally, in August this year, Audius partnered with TikTok to stream their music within the famous Chinese app.
What is Audius, the Spotify blockchain?
Audius is a blockchain protocol that allows artists to upload their songs as NFT. That is, each song is immutable recorded on the blockchain and secured through a decentralized network of node operators. Audius was originally built on the POA Network, an Ethereum sidechain. Later, due to the rapid growth and development of the Solana blockchain, part of their service moved to this blockchain.
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The evolution of the music industry
The decentralization of the Audius platform is a revolution for the music industry. At Audius, artists can upload their tracks at no cost and users can listen to them for free while everyone earns cryptocurrencies. Another good thing is that there is no selection process to start as an artist. Anyone can upload their own songs. The process is similar to creating an NFT on platforms like OpenSea. You just need to register, click on “load track” and drop the music files and artwork.
Another great advantage of Audius is that despite being built on blockchain technology, it is a very easy-to-use platform. It is popular even among users who have no idea about blockchain or cryptocurrencies. In fact, the platform allows you to listen to music for free without the need to have cryptocurrencies. Of course, the platform grants tokens for uploading songs, sharing links, reposting articles and carrying out other activities, so for a complete experience if the use of cryptocurrencies is necessary.
According to Saxo Bank, a Danish investment bank specialized in online trading and investment, if 2021 has been the year of the NFTs of images, art and collectibles, 2022 will be the year of the NFTs of music. Many artists are already beginning to discover the potential these digital assets offer. So they are taking their music and content out of the traditional and centralized streaming platforms to the blockchain, where they can receive income without intermediaries.
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Audius and similar blockchain music platforms, such as Vezt, represent a new way to reach listeners and to monetize content. Through the traditional streaming services offered by Spotify and Apple Music, artists only receive a small percentage of the revenue generated, while blockchain and NFTs allow them to monetize their content in real time, in a fair and direct way.
In the case of Audius, artists can generate income in a number of ways. Either by being rewarded by users or by the platform’s automatic weekly prizes. Every week, Audius awards AUDIO tokens for certain achievements: top 5 songs of the week, top 5 playlists, top 10 API apps, uploads from verified Twitter or Instagram accounts .
As it happened at the beginning of 2020 with the NFTs, at Audius, for now, there are mostly indie groups and musicians. In other words, music far from the trends dictated by the market. But many well-known artists are already uploading experimental tracks that they do not place on other platforms, which was what happened in the art and NFT market in its day. Being a new platform, artists are experimenting and seeing the potential of the service.
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In the art market, many painters now only upload works in NFT format. So it will be necessary to see if the same happens with music. Skrillez, deadmau5 or Disclosure are some of the renowned artists found at Audius. Following the partnership with TikTok, many more artists are expected to join the project.