The Audius music platform is among the most common projects in the crypto world, securing early funding from the very industry players the store aims to disrupt. Think: Katy Perry, Nas, Jason Derulo and Pusha T.
Why is this important: The company’s No. 1 mission is to make money for music artists on its platform, Roneil Rumburg, co-founder and dance music fanboy, told Axios in an interview at Consensus 2022 in Austin.
- “Right now, the primary focus of the Audius ecosystem is by far monetization,” he said.
Details: The company, founded by Rumburg and Forrest Browning less than five years ago, rolled out its music service in September 2019 which has since grown to 7 million monthly listeners, 250,000 artists and just over a million tracks. , according to Audius.
- Early adopters included Deadmau5, RAC and Disclosure.
- It is powered by the Ethereum blockchain.
How it works: Artists can earn company $AUDIO tokens by posting content, while listeners can earn by providing feedback.
- The higher the value of these tokens, the richer their holders.
- But after a surge in active users in its early days (March 2021) pushed the price of native Audius tokens to an all-time high of $4.99, according to data compiled by CoinMarketCap, incremental advances have not not yet reached higher heights.
- By the way, Audius’ token model has a history.
The plot: Rumburg wants Audius artists to have pricing power.
- “They can define their own monetization structure,” Rumburg said. “The way it shows up from a product perspective is that artists can charge for one-off pieces or through a subscription,” he said.
Yes, but: Creating a better system to pay music artists has been tried many times, with or without blockchain.
threat level: Market turmoil and the threat of a crypto winter creating anxious investors and creators make Rumburg’s ambitions all the more pressing.
The context: Streaming platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud have significantly larger listener bases than Audius, measured in the hundreds of millions. (Audius’ first mission was to improve its models, according to its white paper.)
- Basically, “what is immutable and unshakeable” is that Audius is a community owned common, Rumburg said.
- Its August 2021 integration with TikTok, allowing artists to share their content with creators on the social media app, was helpful. (Read: Scaling is hard)
- Additionally, the number of blockchain-powered music projects has grown, with many seeking to cut out middlemen from music and provide fairer payments to creators.
dance music, in particular, agreeing with the vanity of Audius and the creators of this genre of music are dominant on the platform.
- “It was Forrest and my penchant for dancing, but it was also how technologically advanced these music makers were,” Rumburg said. “It’s no coincidence that we’ve seen so many people in dance music embrace crypto widely, even outside of Audius, whether through NFTs or delivering native crypto experiences.”
- “There’s also a high percentage of independent artists (not signed to a label) in dance,” he said.
under the hood: Two breakthroughs in cryptography between 2015 and 2017 helped make Audius what it is today, Rumburg said.
- Ethereum gave Audius the means to programmatically distribute control of something to a dispersed community of people through a token or DAO-like structure, he said.
- IPFS, the precursor to Filecoin, provided the structure needed to store, address, and retrieve content in a decentralized way.
Audius also leans on another blockchain, Solana to manage the content.
another challenge for Audius is to maintain a level playing field for newcomers to veterans, ensuring that each new artist box lapping.
- “If you signed up for Twitter in 2010 compared to today, it’s a lot harder to break in. YouTube is another. Massive accounts seem to be growing unabated exponentially, but it’s harder than ever to start,” Rumburg said.
At the end of the line : “For Audius’ long-term mission to be realized, it must always be possible for an artist to contribute content, curate content, improve the network, and gain control in return,” he said. -he declares.