Audius, a music streaming platform built on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains, has raised $5 million in strategic funding from Katy Perry, Pusha T, Nas, The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Jason Derulo and more.
The platform tries to serve as an alternative to mainstream apps like Spotify or Apple Music by being governed by holders of its AUDIO token. The approach seeks to eliminate the middlemen who’ve long been a thorn in the side of many a musician.
“I’ve known that blockchain will change the world since I invested in Coinbase five years ago and I believe it might be the most important technology to ever hit the music industry,” Nas said in a statement.
Read more: Rap Icon Nas Could Net $100M When Coinbase Lists on Nasdaq
The funding was led by Blockchange Ventures, an early stage blockchain venture fund, that is also invested in Polkadot and Solana. With over 6 million monthly users, the platform claims to be the largest decentralized consumer product on earth.
“This is a game-changer,” DJ Steve Aoki told CoinDesk in a phone call, saying that artists have been frustrated with the current business model for a while. “Artists that gain a lot of traction [on platforms like SoundCloud] don’t get monetized at all.”
Aoki told CoinDesk that he has spent more time making music for his NFTs than working on traditional music in the last six months.
Audius recently announced a partnership with TikTok that will let artists directly upload music to TikTok’s “Sound Kit.”