The San Francisco-based company is only three years on the market, however its recognition is sizable. Audius is a new blockchain-powered music services startup. It just announced to Rolling Stone its latest multimillion dollar investment round, which included funding from the industry’s biggest names.
In this recent funding round the list of investors included music industry executives, label managers, talent companies, and artists themselves. Notable artists such as Katy Perry, Nas, The Chainsmokers, Jason Derulo, and Steve Aoki are among the investors.
Music artist and investor Nas commented on the development to Rolling Stone. “I believe [blockchains] might be the most important technology to ever hit the music industry,” he said. “Everyone who uploads to Audius can be an owner. You can’t say that about any other platform.”
Last month, the platform completed a buzzworthy deal with TikTok as the app’s first music streaming partner. After the incorporation, Audius now has more than six million monthly users. The co-found of the company Forrest Browning said additional easy-to-use crypto features are on the way.
“We see ourselves as the onramp onto blockchain tech for less technical users,” Browning says. “Most people don’t realize it, but every single person that signs up for Audius actually has a crypto wallet created for their account. That enables us to build some really cool crypto features the mainstream is talking about — NFTs, etc — without all the extremely complex process of downloading and setting up extra apps.”
Currently the platform is carbon-neutral with goals of a carbon negative future. The company is moving large parts of the ecosystem over to the Solana network.
Music and Crypto
While the platform is currently free for use, the company hints at changes in the future. As the decentralized space continues its expansion into the mainstream there will be more opportunities for users, artists, and developers.
“We foresee the community likely keeping that in place, because it’s a great way to build a community, and then layering in paid offerings that perhaps let artists monetize their superfans in unique ways. The creator economy this year in particular has shown that even a small percentage of your audience paying you directly can have a meaningful impact on your revenue and help grow the pie for everyone.”
However, Audius is not the only platform with big plans for the music industry. Other music-related platforms, such as Royal Musi, plan for blockchain solutions for song-right NFTs.
Already, artists use NFTs as a means for monetization and content creation without a middle man. Most recently Doja Cat announced her very own metaverse and accessible NFT series, which she plans many more in the future. In August Eminem and Song Music backed a popular NFT marketplace aimed at the industry.
As more people in the industry catch on to the myriad of ways these new technologies enhance music industry services there will be no going back.