Newly—perhaps boldly—coined by Rolling Stone as a “Spotify Rival,” Audius is gearing up for a $5 million dollar round of strategic funding. Alongside Rolling Stone‘s undisguised co-sign, reported investors include Katy Perry, Nas, Jason Derulo, Pusha T, Disclosure, and The Chainsmokers among others. Major music executives including SESAC’s John Josephson and former CEO of Sony Music Publishing (now Sony/ATV) Martin Bandierm are also onboard. The blockchain-powered streaming platform boasts innovative new revenue streams for artists, and the money has come pouring in.
The three-year-old San Francisco-born company recently struck an exclusive deal with TikTok, becoming a direct medium to the video sharing platform’s invaluable Sound Kit. Now, as expressed in a recent white paper, the platform aims to funnel its new capital into, “[supporting] the ongoing work of the Open Audio Foundation at the center of the Audius ecosystem.” The last novel streaming platform that industry heavyweights funneled money into was JAY-Z‘s Tidal. Audius, however, may be a tad more disruptive.
Currently free-to-use, Audius immediately generates crypto wallets for all of its users, cutting out the need for third party payment systems or third-party distributors. That said, both signed and unsigned artists are engaging with the decentralized future of streaming with all of Audius’ creators instantly become co-owners of the platform.
NFTs and social currencies were only the beginning of some impactful technological disruption in music. Nas recently stated that, “[blockchains] might be the most important technology to ever hit the music industry.” With over 100,000 artists actively uploading songs, including Diplo, Skrillex, Dillon Francis, and deadmau5, it may be time to reconsider Audius without that extra grain of salt.