Decentralized Music Streaming: An Overview of Audius

Web3 has undoubtedly disrupted the music industry, and one notable area in which decentralization is having a huge effect is music streaming. Stakeholders in the music industry are turning to blockchain technology to provide a new infrastructure for them. For musicians, Web3 in music means they have more control over their works and have the opportunity to remove certain intermediaries, thereby providing more revenue for them. Let’s examine how Audius contributes to that with its decentralized music streaming service.

What is Audius?

Audius is simply a decentralized “Spotify” or “Tidal.” What makes Audius different and more special is that the Music sharing and streaming platform is built on the blockchain. The crypto-powered music platform is all about giving artists control over their works and royalty revenue. A community of artists, fans, and developers runs Audius. The platform has AUDIO as its governance token, allowing community members to vote on key decisions. 

What Makes Audius Different? 

Audius functions as a decentralized streaming service with social networking components. The platform allows musicians to upload their songs and connect fans with their favorite artists while having exclusive access to the latest singles from them. 

Unlike Spotify, Tidal, and other centralized music streaming services, Audius uses blockchain technology. The blockchain protocol allows artists to produce immutable and timestamped records of their songs, meaning their works are well secured as no one can duplicate them on the blockchain. Audius initially ran on the Ethereum sidechain POA Network but later moved part of its operations to the Solana network. Audius has an open-source program that allows developers to build their decentralized applications (dApps) on its platform. 

How Does Audius Operate?

Audius comprises three distinct groups: node operators, artists, and fans. The node operators play a central role in securing the network as they host and index the content on the blockchain. As mentioned earlier, Audius has its native AUDIO token (an ERC-20 token), which serves three functions: For staking as Audius uses a proof-of-stake mechanism; It grants artists access to exclusive features when they stake their AUDIO tokens; Lastly, AUDIO serves as a Governance token which allows community members to vote on key changes to the network. 

Audius prides itself in being user-friendly even to non-web3 natives. The platform also rewards achievements and active participation. Artists and fans receive free AUDIO tokens when they hit or achieve certain milestones. 

How To Use Audius

The decentralized streaming platform allows artists to upload their songs for free, and fans can also listen to them at no cost, unlike centralized platforms that, you have to subscribe to. Artists can get started on the platform immediately, as there is no vetting process that they have to undergo. Sign up and click the “Upload Track” button to submit your song and other artwork files. Interestingly, Audius offers a streaming speed that matches that of Spotify and Google Play Music although not up to the standard of Tidal and Amazon Music.

Audius is undoubtedly at the forefront of decentralized music streaming services. As it continues gaining traction, it is likely to become the go-to model for similar projects starting out in the space. 

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