“You just made an account on Audius. This is kind of a big deal. Imagine you controlled SoundCloud instead of these guys.” This is the automated welcome email you receive upon creating an account with Audius. The brand new free hosting service and music streaming platform has a simple goal: “Give everyone the freedom to share and listen”. Audius boasts 320kbps streaming quality, unlimited free uploads and access to metrics, and the promise of your tracks never being censored or removed.
Audius is said to be created with artists in mind, introducing their white paper with “The music industry generates $43 billion in revenue but only 12% goes to content creators”. The project aims to be a blockchain based alternative to SoundCloud, to allow artists to gain revenue from their work and directly get it out to their fanbase. Audius will implement ‘Loud’ tokens, which will be a price-stable medium of exchange for use by creators, listeners and service providers.
90% of revenue will be directed towards the artists, with the remaining 10% dedicated to node operators. Audius does not host the music, per se, but decentralises it across independently operated nodes, which it says will protect it from lawsuits. Copyright complaints will go straight to the uploader, where they can reassign the revenue being earned by a song to the copyright holders, instead of having material pulled down. When it comes to DJ sets, “instead of pulling down [the whole] set, the rights-holder of a five-minute song in an hour-long mix would get 1/12 of the proceeds”, TechCrunch reports.
Audius as a whole appears to plan on filling in the gaps that SoundCloud left on its own platform. Whether it achieves this, only time will tell. One thing it’s going to need is an active userbase. SoundCloud’s still going strong with 175 million users and Spotify’s boasting 217 million. Needless to say, it has some catching up to do.
Find out more at audius.org.