One of the biggest problems in online entertainment is attribution. As the web grows, more and more content distribution platforms need to verify that creators have legitimate ownership of songs used in their content. Not only is this hard to get right, it’s easy to get wrong. Algorithms on platforms like YouTube frequently claim wrongful ownership of both original musical tracks and legitimate remixes, both by accident and as a result of shady activities by nefarious accounts and companies. I ask the question What is Audius and how is it solving this problem?
What Is Audius?
Audius solves these problems via the blockchain. Its core technology utilizes the Etherium and Solana blockchains to provide a decentralized network to hold songs. As these songs are distributed among node operators and not held by a single entity, Audius ensures that it’s incredibly difficult for a copyright troll to remove someone’s remix or falsely claim ownership of someone’s original song. Not only is content on the blockchain basically impossible to modify or dispute in the event of a disagreement, but it’s also held by everyone who’s involved in the backend of Audius, making it very, very difficult for a cease & desist order to be effective.
To distribute music to fans, Audius has made its own music player. As of September, the Audius client had 6 million active users. It features popular artists like Skrillex, Weezer, and Diplo. Multiple artists and music industry professionals, including Katy Perry, and Nas, have taken a personal interest in Audius’ growth and invested millions of dollars in the project. The token ($AUDIO) already has a market cap of over $800 million, and increased interest in the platform is likely to cause it to rise even further.
As of August 2021, Audius has partnered with TikTok to make sharing music online even easier. Any artists who have uploaded tracks to Audius are able to immediately share their songs on TikTok with a single click. Once artists have shared their songs via a catchy video, they can then direct new fans back to their Audius profile, giving them easy access to a massive new audience.
Unlike other music distribution platforms, Audius is dedicated to ensuring that its artists (and its power users) get paid. Under 15% of Spotify’s revenue goes to musicians, while YouTube keeps nearly half of the revenue each video makes. Audius, by contrast, aims to give 90% of platform revenues to artists. So far, it’s given a massive payout of 50 million $AUDIO to 10,000 of its top artists, fans, and power users, or about 5% of the total $AUDIO in existence.
As an artist, I spend much of my time seeing around the corner to the future of the industry, and Audius is clearly the way forward.
The sheer file size of the bitcoin blockchain has been a historical source of problems. Audius does not host actual music on the blockchain, but rather uses the blockchain as a ledger and distributes the music in chunks to different nodes on the Audius network. A staking-based reward system ensures that $AUDIO holders are encouraged to host network nodes and stream the music to fans around the world. Built-in encryption and ownership verification systems ensure that artists have full control over who listens to their music under what circumstances.
Audius is set to make the biggest splash in the online music distribution industry since Limewire. The unique content distribution system and the immutability of records on the blockchain ensure that small and medium content creators don’t get bullied by content trolls. Tools like TikTok integration, encrypted content, and a media player with 6 million users make it a great choice for big creators, too. It’s an innovative solution that’s sure to cause some big changes in the way that people upload, download, and pay for music.
>> Official Audius website
I love tech and gaming, and am always looking for the ‘next big thing’…