Audius – a music streaming platform that runs on the Ethereum blockchain – hit a major milestone on Thursday, as five million people a month now use the platform to stream music, making it one of the largest consumer applications on any blockchain.
Blockchain technology has been touted by many in the community as a way to make the monetization of art and music fairer in the digital age by giving creators more ownership of their work, as well as by clarifying the licensing and metadata issues that cause music to be taken down from online platforms. Audius’ rapid expansion is a sign that artists and fans alike are increasingly finding value in blockchain-based streaming.
According to Audius co-founders Roneil Rumburg and Forrest Browning, most of Audius’ approximately 100,000 artists have small and midsized audiences. But major players in the music industry such as Skrillex, deadmau5 and Weezer are also using Audius to get music – including works-in-progress and unreleased music – out to their fans.
Audius, which launched in 2019, operates closer to a decentralized version of music streaming service SoundCloud than to Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming company. Creators are not paid directly by Audius based on streams, but instead are given the infrastructure needed to monetize their work in the way they see fit, including through sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Creators and community members can also be rewarded for contributing to the platform with Audius’ native token, AUDIO.