Audius — World’s First Decentralized Music Streaming Platform
Audius, is the brand new streaming platform built for all musicians and users. In this blog, they share with the Flow team how bringing music streaming to the blockchain allows for a decentralized experience, greater artist freedom and creates a platform that can scale.
Q: What is Audius and what makes it unique from other audio streaming services?
A: Audius is the world’s first decentralized and open-source music streaming platform designed to be controlled by its community of independent artists, fans, & developers — not a single corporation or major record labels.
- 320kbps hi-fi sound (highest sound quality of any free music platform)
- No frivolous platform-level takedowns or account bans
- Built-in visualizer
- Open-source code
- Growing community of big and small artists
Our mission is to give everyone the freedom to share, monetize, and listen to any audio.
“Audius is one of the most exciting things I’ve heard about in a while. This might really affect the community and life around underground music in a major way,” — Lido
“If any streaming platform is set up to actually rival SoundCloud, we’d put money on Audius.”
— Dancing Astronaut
“I spend much of my time seeing around the corner to the future of the industry, and Audius is clearly the way forward. I’m thrilled to join this team.”
Q: How does having a decentralized experience allow for the listener to more easily access a variety of music.
A: It’s important for all users to have a voice — in the west we may not have to deal with censorship as directly, but even countries like Spain for example forbid speech that “insults the crown” .
In many parts of the world widespread censorship of music is just an accepted part of life: music cover and thai rap. This video does a fantastic job laying out how music has been censored around the world time and time again.
This is why Audius exists to help protect the rights of all people who want their voice to be heard.
Q: How does a decentralized experience benefit artists?
A: Today, the primary benefits Audius provides to artists are 1) increased control of how their music is shared and discovered, 2) ownership of the artist/fan relationship (which no other platform provides) and 3) censorship resistance. All content is free on Audius today.
As payments in Audius roll out in the future, artists and rights holders can get paid a higher proportion of revenue, faster, and with more transparency than ever before.
Payments, when combined with artists’ ability to own their relationships with fans and the data produced in those interactions, will enable fascinating use cases around monetization of premium content and experiences. What if you could join your favorite artists’ fan club and hear their content before anyone else does?
Q: Why is it important to have a catalog that is fully open? How does this allow the artist and listener to customize their experience to fit their needs?
A: The key is not to be fully open necessarily — but rather to give artists complete freedom and latitude to control the experience through which their content can be consumed, by whom, and under what terms. This generally does lead to more people around the globe being able to hear content — most artists care most about their content being available to anyone anywhere. But freedom is the philosophical tenet underpinning these design decisions.
In a world of digitally-enabled abundance, discovery and curation starts to matter much more to help surface the right content to the right people at the right time. This is why in Audius, discovery and curation is completely in the hands of the community. Anyone can create a playlist, repost content, or otherwise use their following to boost the viewership of content, all while capturing a portion of the revenue their curation generates.
Q: Why is it important to build on a platform that can scale to millions of users and files, how does this impact the artist and listener experience?
A: The larger the number of listeners and artists using the network, the more valuable the network becomes as a distribution channel (see Reid’s law, which maps well to the network structure of Audius). More content gives listeners more to discover, while a larger audience expands the reach of all artists on Audius.
Q: What features and components are you looking for in a blockchain to help support your vision for Audius?
A: Audius is an interesting case because we don’t care too much about time to finality (latency), within some reasonable bounds, but we do care deeply about throughput and censorship-resistance. More transactions per timedelta directly maps to the protocol being able to support more users. Censorship-resistance is important as one of the primary pillars of our value proposition to users and artists, meaning that all underlying protocols enabling Audius must also have a high degree of censorship resistance.
The story around files is the same — being capable of hosting and sharing more content among the community of folks operating the protocol directly maps to an ability to absorb more artist demand. Capacity to store within Audius always needs to stay ahead of current demand levels.