Project Insight: Audius - Decentralized Music Sharing and Streaming

The platform aims to put power back into the hands of artists and fans with their unique offerings.

By
John Tunney
on
June 10, 2021
Category:
Project Insight

Audius: Empowering Musicians

Audius is a decentralized music sharing and streaming platform built for artists, big and small. The project looks to solve the issue of musicians and unfair compensation. In the music industry, musicians only capture 12% of the total revenue. Audius looks to change this. Through their decentralized music sharing platform, artists can grow their fan base in a positive environment, be given guaranteed security and ownership over their content they create, and of course, earn fair compensation without having to pay huge fees. One exciting feature of Audius is artists never have to graduate off the platform or ever sign a record deal. Another is that for fans, streaming is 100% free. The concept behind the project is unique, and could serve as a launchpad for independent artists.


5 Components 

Audius is composed of 5 components, including the Audius token, Content Nodes, Content Ledger, Discovery Nodes, and Governance. When brought together, Audius creates a platform that benefits the users for its success.  Below is shown the Audius content lifecycle. 

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Audius Token

The Audius token, stablecoins, and artist token function to create an economy that supports the three primary goals which are access, security and governance. Audius tokens are staked by node operators who provide the backing for the token. Audius stakers will earn ongoing insurance, governance weight and access to exclusive features. Audius also allows for third party stablecoin payment on their platform. 


Content Nodes 

On Audius, content nodes act as a user operated network of nodes to host content and permission access to content provided by musicians. Content nodes maintain availability of content and metadata on Audius. The data will be stored in AudSP, a decentralized storage solution for the Audius network. The platform can provide files to a wide selection of users. Below is an image showing how content nodes function between other key components on the protocol. 

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Content Ledger 

Audius’s content ledger is a single source of truth for data accessible in the Audius protocol, recording content hosted by content nodes. The ledger borrows smart contracts from Ethereum, POA network, and other future L1 and L2 blockchain networks. Different parts of the Audius platform run on different blockchain based protocols or off chain scalability solutions. The three main functions of the content ledger include maintaining what is “true” on the protocol, providing the code for social features / fan feed, and existing as the home of the Audius token economy.  


Discovery Nodes 

Audius also uses discovery nodes, which are a user operated network of nodes that track the Audius content ledger. Discovery nodes provide an easy interface for retrieving metadata. They also allow for fans to discover content on the Audius network. This index of data is decentralized, provably correct, and extensible, so the Audius community can explore different rankings and search patterns. 

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Governance 

Audius uses governance as a mechanism for modifications and improvements to Audius, which shares control among those who have created and still are creating value. Musicians, node operators and fans are enfranchised in making decisions about Audius’s platform changes and upgrades. Everything in Audius is governable, which helps the platform truly create a community-owned streaming platform. Audius believes that to create the most value add for musicians, they should be able to create the framework they want that falls in line with their shared beliefs. 


Partnerships 

Audius has already partnered with many musicians, including deadmau5, Rezz, 3LAU and many more! Audius is home to over 2 million monthly users and onboards new musicians almost every day. Audius has also recently partnered with Solana for a music event in Miami. 

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Tokenomics

Audius currently has a token maximum of Audius 1,030,564,716 tokens and circulating supply of Audius 209,868,152 tokens according to CoinGecko. Audius will distribute a fixed genesis allocation, which in October of 2020 was roughly around a 7% annual issuance rate.. Distribution of the token is modifiable by governance. Below is a look at Audius’s circulating supply through July of 2026. source

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Roadmap

Recently, Audius sent out an update that allowed users to connect their verified Instagram and Twitter accounts. Audius plans to develop artist and listener interactions further. At the moment, there is a rough plan to implement a tier based program that offers both social and feature benefits to users. This would include tiers slotted at different levels of $AUDIO holdings. Audius also plans to build out an $AUDIO reward system. The goal of the reward program would be to get more tokens into the hands of those actively creating value in the protocol.

Audius has also partnered with a few big names in the music industry, with MadeinTYO being perhaps the most recognizable. The platform has sponsored concerts as well, proving their intentions to dive into mainstream music endeavors.


Concluding Thoughts

Audius is a powerful protocol that aims to provide a platform allowing content creators to earn fair financial compensation for the work that they do. Audius through the use of their token allows for governance, meaning the community of Audius directs where the protocol goes. With their content and discovery nodes plus their content ledger, content creators have full control of their music. Audius is truly a game-changing decentralized finance project. With new artists joining the platform every day, it should be really exciting to follow Audius’s growth over the next couple of years. 

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John Tunney

John Tunney is an accomplished analyst and crypto enthusiast. The UCLA alum has been actively reporting and blogging for 3 years, and has a passion for all things finance.