Audius -- the blockchain-based, decentralized digital streaming service that connects fans directly with artists -- has received a $5 million round of strategic funding from several major players in the music industry including Katy Perry, The Chainsmokers, Nas, Jason Derulo, Pusha T, Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Electric Feel Ventures and former Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Martin Bandier. The investment was originated by Blockchange Ventures, an early-stage blockchain venture fund that manages over $1 billion in assets.
Founded in 2019, Audius boasts over 6 million monthly users and hosts the music of over 100,000 artists, including Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Russ, Diplo, Skrillex, MadeinTyo and Deadmau5. In August, the company announced a partnership with TikTok that allowed Audius artists to upload their music to the video-sharing platform and link their TikTok followings back to Audius.
In a statement, The Chainsmokers emphasized “the way Audius uses the blockchain to enhance the artist-fan relationship. We plan to upload the stuff we play live, which we wouldn’t typically share on traditional music platforms. It’s a purer alternative to the more polished album rollouts that we will continue to deliver.” They added, “Audius continues to empower the artists and their community to seek freedom in all aspects of their art as the music business hopefully shifts more in favor of the artists fueling the economy.”
Nas added, “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.”