How Audius (AUDIO) Is Disrupting The Music Industry

The global music industry is estimated to be worth over $61 billion in 2021, according to data from Statista, while the figure could balloon to more than $65 billion by 2023.

Speaking of major existing players in the music industry, streaming apps such as Spotify currently holds a market cap of slightly more than $44 billion, while its major rival, YouTube, commands a market cap of more than a whopping $500 billion.

However, when we look at how much of the revenue generated by the aforementioned platforms actually goes to the music creators, the picture becomes pretty different.

According to a recent report by The Rolling Stone, music creators bag a very minuscule share of the total revenues generated by Spotify, as the major chunk of the spoils is shared between music labels and the app itself. The same is the case with YouTube.

The aforementioned inefficiency clearly is not long-term sustainable for music producers, artists, and the like.

This begs the question, what could be a viable solution to ensure music creators make enough money in accordance with their talent and don’t end up holding the short end of the stick due to corporate shenanigans?

A blockchain-based music streaming application named Audius (AUDIO) aims to tackle this point of pain.

What is Audius?

According to its official website, Audius is a blockchain-based music streaming platform with a vision to democratize the global music industry to ensure music creators get the revenue they deserve for their work.

Founded in 2018, Audius is owned and managed by an open-source community of music enthusiasts that comprise artists, fans, developers, and others.

Audius gives a crypto spin to the music space in that it also has a native digital token called AUDIO that can be used for purposes such as platform governance, staking, and others.

In addition to its primary offering of music-streaming, Audius promises a flurry of other benefits to artists and users alike, such as HQ audio at 320kbps, free subscription with all features, and exclusive content to enable artists to interact directly with their fans without involving any middlemen.

The History of Audius

Notably, Audius launched its mainnet service in October 2020 and has witnessed strong upward traction in terms of adoption since then.

Not many might know, but Audius was initially built on the Ethereum-based sidechain called the POA Network. Soon enough, Audius migrated some of its features to the high-throughput and low latency Solana blockchain to enable developers to build decentralized applications on top of the platform to offer users a more personalized user experience.

Audius stands out from the sea of the vast majority of crypto applications in that it offers an extremely easy-to-use interface that fosters quick adoption among users.

In an interview in 2019, Audius co-founder Roneil Rumberg said:

“Users aren’t going to use our things if they are so much harder to use than Google, Facebook, SoundCloud, Steam, or whatever it is.”

Audius’ Funding Rounds

In terms of funding, Audius raised a total of $5.5 million in 2018 from several noted crypto VC firms such as General Catalyst, Lightspeed, and Pantera Capital, among others. Later, in October 2020 the platform got another shot in the arm as it raised $1.25 million from Binance’s investment arm, Binance Labs.

Most recently, the blockchain-powered music streaming platform raised another $5 million from several heavyweights in the music industry such as Katy Perry, Nas, Jason Derulo, Steve Aoki, Mike Shinoda, and others.

The Growth of Audius

Per the platform’s official dashboard, Audius witnessed more than 6 million new users on its platform in September 2021. For comparison, in March 2021, the platform witnessed more than 3.1 million new users flock toward it, indicating that Audius was able to almost double its unique user count in a span of 6 months.

blockchain-based music streaming platform

(Source: Audius Dashboard)

Further, the Audius application had a staggering 89 million API calls in September 2020 which indicates the magnitude of user adoption the platform continues to witness.

decentralized music

(Source: Audius Dashboard)

Audius has also formed partnerships with influential musicians that include the likes of deadmau5, Rezz, and The Stafford Brothers, among others.

The AUDIO Token

Audius’ native utility token, AUDIO offers a wide variety of benefits to its holders.

To begin, AUDIO holders can stake their tokens on the platform to help in network decentralization and ensure it is always governed by an open-source community with no vested commercial interests.

AUDIO is an ERC-20 token that, in addition to being used for governance and bolstering network security, also allows artists to get their hands on premium features by staking the token. This can include displaying NFT crypto-collectibles, sharing details on the upcoming studio album, and others.

At the time of writing, AUDIO trades at $2.14 with a total market cap of slightly more than $840 million. The token has a maximum total supply of 1.05 billion tokens, of which a considerable amount is regularly airdropped to artists on the platform based on certain eligibility criteria.

audio token chart

(Source: CoinGecko)

Final Thoughts

It is no secret that blockchain technology holds the potential to disrupt a plethora of industries and the music industry is ripe for technological disruption.

The foray of Audius is a breath of fresh air in the overly competitive and cutthroat music industry that promises to give back to the very drivers of the space.

The future certainly looks promising for Audius as it presents a fresh opportunity to musicians to monetize their content and engage directly with their fandom.

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