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What Is Audius? The Music Streaming App That Supports Artists

Audius is a music streaming service with celebrity backing and its own cryptocurrency token that aims to make the streaming industry fairer for all.
Audius is probably not a name you've heard before. The music streaming app that is growing exponentially has raised millions of dollars from celebrities like Nas, Katy Perry, and Jason Derulo.

It is reminiscent of SoundCloud, but not quite. Putting a different spin on music streaming, Audius is using technology to help support artists and to give them direct access to their fans.

But what is it about this new streaming service that is getting the attention (and investment) of some of the music industry's biggest celebrities and leaders? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Audius?
man listening to musicImage credit: fizkes/Shutterstock
Audius is a crypto-powered music streaming app with its own Ethereum-based cryptocurrency token: AUDIO. Audius boasts more than 100,000 artists, mostly indie.

Founded in 2018, the streaming app uses blockchain technology, with a focus on supporting artists in an industry that is infamous for unequal compensation. Think of it as SoundCloud, powered by blockchain technology, and created with artists in mind.

As of July 2021, Audius has more than 5.3 million unique users who have collectively listened to music more than 7.5 million times in the month of April 2021 on the app—Audius' busiest month to date.

The unique music streaming app has attracted the attention of big-ticket artists who are investing heavily into the app that is taking the music industry by storm.

This is a music streaming app for music lovers, by music lovers. Audius is owned and run by a community of artists, fans, and developers; and aims to give artists more control over how their music is monetized.

Audius has a social media element, helping artists to connect directly with fans through their music. For instance, Audius has a feature that allows artists to share their music from the streaming app directly to TikTok.

In structuring the app in this way, Audius is addressing the industry-wide challenge of artists not receiving the compensation due to them for their work, with artists that work behind the scenes typically losing out on royalties.

As far as its technical aspect is concerned, Audius' blockchain protocol allows artists to timestamp their work. The technology, however, is made to be user-friendly, such that artists and listeners outside of the cryptocurrency community don't find it difficult to use.

More Mainstream Artists Are Investing in Audius

While Audius is primarily an Indie platform, more major-label artists are investing in the music streaming app as it gains popularity. Some of these include Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, Pusha T, Nas, and The Chainsmokers.

To avoid a licensing nightmare, The Chainsmokers will be taking a different approach with their use of Audius by uploading music they have not shared on music sharing platforms, such as the music the band typically plays live.

The startup has also been backed by Sound Ventures—the company co-founded by well-known manager Guy Oseary, Electric Feel Ventures, and former Sony/ATV leader Martin Bandier.

While these mainstream artists and industry veterans may have it easier as far as the business side of their work is concerned, in investing in Audius they are putting their weight behind the industry's ongoing campaign for artists to own more of their music.

As veteran hip-hop artist Nas put it:

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. Everyone who uploads to Audius can be an owner, you can’t say that about any other platform.

Tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen to discover trending music. You will automatically land on the tab for music trending This Week. You can also tap This Month and This Year to discover more music other users have been enjoying most on the app.
You can also tap the Explore button at the bottom of the screen to discover new music and artists you may not be familiar with.

Over the years, artists have been battling with the music industry over music rights, royalties, and ownership. Audius is one way that fans, fellow artists, and other players in the music industry are backing creators to address some of these issues.

This is especially important in a time when the world is in the midst of an ongoing pandemic that is continuously affecting the music industry and, in particular, artists' income. Considering that the pandemic is here to stay, at least for the next few years, there's no telling what heights Audius and similar initiatives will go to.