Introducing $AUDIO, The Audius Platform Token
Today, we’re happy to share details around $AUDIO — the Audius platform token underpinning value-added actions in Audius and its unstoppable streaming protocol.
Created with the mission to give everyone the freedom to distribute, monetize, and stream unstoppable audio, Audius has grown quickly since launch in Sept 2019.
It’s now home to over 700,000 monthly active users (MAUs), almost 100,000 tracks, and millions of streams each month!
We’ve spent the last year building a strong foundation for mainstream usage, curating a suite of tools and features that give artists better means of engaging with their fans.
Outlined in this post is the genesis role of the Audius token, described in detail in our latest whitepaper update.
Since the turn of the millennium, music creation and distribution has changed dramatically. Because of colossal advances in recording technology and the resulting cost reductions that brought, creating music is now more accessible than ever; musicians in their bedrooms are producing some of the most innovative and successful recordings to date.
But while music creation has experienced a renaissance, distribution services have lagged behind. The music industry generates $43 Billion in yearly revenue, but only 12% goes to the actual artists.
This is the motivation for creating AUDIO — a platform token earned by artists, curators, and node operators on Audius for their active contributions to the network.
Artists should control their own means of distribution, and we believe the future of Audius should be dictated by its most active contributors to avoid repeating the mistakes of the industry’s past.
How it Works
Audius platform tokens (AUDIO) have three prongs of functionality within the Audius protocol ecosystem:
- Feature Access
AUDIO is staked as collateral for a value-added service such as operating a node or participating in governance. In exchange, stakers earn ongoing issuance, governance weight, and access to exclusive features. In the future, AUDIO will govern a global fee pool from value transfers in the network.
Offering a native token to align all actors creates a parallel incentive unique to web3, and one which allows our early adopters to share in the upside of Audius as we continue to grow.
The Audius community looks to ensure that AUDIO tokens are always being funneled to the most value-added actors. This is done through ongoing issuance using onchain metrics as a measurement to better route distribution to active participants, rather than simply to those staking the most AUDIO.
Here’s how this pans out in practice.
AUDIO is staked by node operators to secure the network. The larger the stake, the higher the probability of their node being used by fans and artists. Audius is entirely hosted and operated by the community, creating a permissionless ecosystem of node operators securing content for the world’s unstoppable streaming protocol.
AUDIO will serve as collateral to unlock additional artist tooling. Early examples incubated by the community include artists tokens, badges, and earnings multipliers. In the future, fans may delegate AUDIO to specific artists and curators to share in their growth on the platform.
Any AUDIO staked within Audius is assigned governance weight, used to shape future iterations of the protocol. Every aspect of Audius is governable, starting with one token staked equal to one vote. We envision governance to focus on operator incentives at inception, with the ambition for even passive fans to voice their opinion over product updates and feature upgrades too.
The choice to offer ongoing issuance aligns power with those who are continually the most active on the platform, a mechanism Audius believes better suits future users of the protocol.
We hope that this framework for AUDIO inspires ideas from the community, and we encourage those eager to shape future iterations of the token to voice their opinion in our new $AUDIOphile Discord.
The upcoming release of AUDIO marks the completed transition from testnet to the fully decentralized, community-operated unstoppable streaming protocol that Audius was designed to be.
In the coming weeks, we’ll share more details around the distribution of AUDIO and the key dates to keep an eye out for.
If you’re an artist, curator, or fan, there’s never been a better time to join a growing community of users shaping the future of audio streaming. We’re extremely humbled to play a small part in this ecosystem that’s grown so far beyond the initial project team.
Looking to join over half a million other curators enjoying Audius today?
Sign up to discover the industry’s best and brightest talent!
Until then, turn up the audio!
Note: $AUDIO have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to a U.S. person absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.