Before the internet, musicians had to rely on record companies to be able to get their songs out to a wider audience. After that came streaming platforms like Spotify or YouTube wherein artists could upload their work and earn revenue based on the amount of engagement that their content could generate. But what these industry models both have in common is that they still have to rely on a middleman who is allocated a percentage of the profits. Often as well, artists cannot negotiate the terms of the arrangement when it comes to how to monetize their music.
But thanks to blockchain technology, it is now possible to directly connect musicians with their fan base without having to resort to a third party distributor. On a decentralized streaming platform like Audius for instance, creators can upload their work and retain full ownership. They also have complete control over how to generate revenue–whether to upload it for free or to charge a premium to unlock content.
The idea behind Audius is to ensure that it is the art community itself reaping the rewards for their own ideas and efforts–instead of a multi-billion company. YouTube for example, reportedly charges as much as 45% of the revenue generated by every content creator. On the other hand, Audius directs 90% of revenue back to the artists, while the remaining 10% is distributed to the network node operators who are providing the upkeep to keep the Audius network running.
Artists on Audius earn revenue from user engagement, but also from rewards by making it into weekly trending lists. They can also issue artist tokens to their fan bases to give exclusive or early access to content and other features.
What is AUDIO for?
Audius is powered by AUDIO, an ERC-20 token which has the following uses on the network:
AUDIO is used in node staking - To participate as a node operator on the network, one has to stake a certain amount of AUDIO tokens. This enables node operators to either host artist content or to run the network’s index which allows users to discover new songs. Either way, node operators are paid with more AUDIO tokens for supporting the network.
AUDIO is used in governance - Audius is a community-run project which means it is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and allows its users to take matters into their own hands via a democratic majority vote. Users just need to hold AUDIO tokens to be able to vote on future proposals and updates for the project.
AUDIO can be staked to unlock new features - Holding AUDIO has added incentives for both artists and fans alike. Artists can stake AUDIO to unlock more content distribution tools while fans with enough AUDIO can unlock VIP tier status and enjoy more benefits from the platform.
AUDIO has a maximum supply of 1 billion tokens of which 725 million are already in circulation, with a market cap of $227 million as of July 2022. New tokens are minted at an inflation rate of 7% per year.
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