Audius is a decentralized music-sharing and streaming platform that connects creators and fans. It is an open-source network built on the Ethereum blockchain, owned and operated by a community of artists, fans, and developers. The network allows everyone to distribute, monetize, and stream audio in a nonstop mode.
The Audius team launched the project in September 2019 with the main goal of increasing blockchain technology integration with today's most used technologies. They aim to decentralize the music industry, increasing transparency and reducing intermediaries across the whole supply chain. The Audius platform can be used to create a visualizer and music for games or build a music player. Also, developers can build their apps on top of Audius.
The Audius platform is governed by its native utility token AUDIO created to support network security, provide community-owned governance, and unlock exclusive features. This ERC-20 token went live on the mainnet on October 23, 2020.
1 billion AUDIO tokens were minted at launch and distributed among the ecosystem participants. 5.5% was spent on the AUDIOdrop to reward the top 10,000 artists and early network adopters. 17.8% of coins went to the Open Audio Foundation, an organization formed to drive Audius's long-term growth and acting as a reserve for the community. 6.5% from the foundation was used to stimulate the launch. The rest is subject to a five-year unlock schedule starting October 23, 2021. 40.6% of tokens were reserved for the Audius team and advisors while 36% was intended for investors. These tokens went into circulation six months after the launch. All tokens assigned to the team and advisors of the project are subject to a three-year unlock schedule. For investors, there is a two-year unlock schedule with quarterly unlock events and a six-month cutoff on April 23rd.
75% of newly issued tokens are distributed among content creators according to the number of streams they have generated, 10% is determined by the number of followers, 5% by favorited playlists, 5% by the number of songs reposted, and 5% by the number of songs added to favorites. The token supply is set to inflate by 7% each year.
Artists can earn AUDIO for the first verified account upload, NFTs sale, hosting, and moderating tracks, their track being among the top 5 weekly trending tracks or in the top 5 weekly trending playlists, or their app is in the top 10 monthly API apps. Each Friday top 5 trending tracks receive a reward of 100 AUDIO while every API app provider in the top 10 receives 500 AUDIO.
The exchanges that support trading AUDIO against USDT, BTC, BUSD, WETH, or USD are Binance, FTX, Uniswap V2, Bitstamp, Gate.io, and Uniswap V3.
AUDIO use cases
AUDIO is used for staking, voting, running discovery or content nodes, unlocking artist tokens and badges, accessing an exclusive Discord channel.
Staking on the Audius platform was activated in December 2020. AUDIO is staked by node operators to secure the network. Stakers get a share of network fees, voting power, and exclusive features access as a reward. AUDIO holders can receive a 7% return on tokens they have staked on the network. Stakers are able to operate a service on the network.
AUDIO holders can participate in the governance making proposals about the platform’s future and voting on new features. The users’ voting power is determined by the amount of AUDIO staked. A proposal passes if at least 5% of all staked AUDIO vote on it and it gets more than 50% of the votes.
AUDIO serves as collateral to unlock additional features for artists, such as artists’ tokens, badges, and earnings multipliers. AUDIO holders are eligible for profile badges that are visible throughout the app. They also own a part of the Audius platform.
The platform has implemented features that stimulate community involvement and attract more and more users, such as 320kbps high-quality audio, Hedgehog, 450 000+ tracks, VIP levels, fee absence, API, SoundCloud, Discord, and music player.
Audius Hedgehog is an open-source Ethereum wallet that allows building dApps without any additional extensions or centralized keys control. The Audius API is free of charge and can be easily integrated into apps. SoundCloud allows artists to monetize their work by attracting true fans. Also, the platform offers a music player that allows listening to all music created by its artists. Audius Collectibles provide a direct way to showcase and sell the NFTs you created so fans can see them right away. Audius Discord is a channel for AUDIO holders with a Discord bot. Holding at least one AUDIO grants you access to it.
There are 4 types of VIP accounts: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The VIP levels are automatically assigned according to the amount of AUDIO acquired by users and lost if users withdraw their coins. The benefits from each VIP tier are determined through governance.
Users can download the Audius desktop or mobile application. To get the mobile app you need to scan the QR code with your phone camera.
Audius team and partners
The Audius team consists of developers, entrepreneurs, music lovers, and blockchain experts. Roneil Rumburg is the Audius co-founder and CEO. He also co-founded Kleiner Perkins and Backslash, a Bitcoin payment company. Forrest Browning is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer. He is also a co-founder of StacksWare, an enterprise data center management platform.
Other team members include Sid Sethi, a senior engineer, Julian Baker, a senior designer, Christina Rowland, the Head of Operations, and Dheeraj Manjunath, the Head of engineering. Adam Goldberg from Standard Crypto, Bing Gordon, co-founder of EA Games, Justin Kan from Twitch, and Robb McDaniels, the CEO at Beatport are on the Audius advisory board.
Audius joined forces with Graph. It migrated to the Graph’s decentralized network to power the underlying infrastructure for the Audius dashboard and speed up the dashboard loading. The platform has also partnered with Solana, an L1 blockchain capable of 50,000 transactions per second at low costs, to scale its network. Among Audius investors are Coinbase, Binance Labs, Pantera, Hack VC, Lightspeed, Multicoin Capital, and others.