Audius is an ambitious project that aims to tokenize the music industry that generates about $43 billion in revenue worldwide. The problem for most artists is, that they only see a fraction of the money that is created through their art and that they have little or no control over their own content. Audius aims to change that by providing a fully decentralized music streaming protocol.
It will allow fans to pay their favourite artists more directly while at the same time providing a decentralized storage solution and a ledger for sharing audio and metadata. But these are not the only features of Audius.
What other problems can be solved with this protocol and how is it creating incentives for artists and users alike? In this article, we are going to explore what Audius has to offer.
Audius runs on top of Solana and Ethereum
The Audius protocol runs on top of the Solana blockchain which is known for its speed and transaction throughput as well as on the Ethereum blockchain which is still the number 1 platform for dApps. The protocol stands on three pillars:
- A decentralized governance protocol that allows artists, users, and node operators to decide which protocol changes and upgrades are implemented.
- The platform has its own token economy that is powered by the AUDIO token and also includes 3rd-party stablecoins as well as artist tokens that allow individualized interaction with their fans.
- A decentralized storage solution for audio and metadata that features a unique track encryption scheme and a discovery protocol that allows users to query metadata.
It also features its own web player that offers users to explore all the content that is on the platform and customize playlists as well as enjoy curated content. The software is also available as a desktop app on iOS as well as Android.
The AUDIO token
The Audius platform token has the ticker AUDIO and serves several purposes within the protocol:
- Node operators need to stake AUDIO to operate a discovery or a content node
- Artists need to bond AUDIO in order to issue their own artist token which allows individualized interaction between fans as the token holders and the artist as the issuer
- Stakers also earn access to additional features
- Token holders can take part in the protocol’s governance and decide on several things like feature integrations, royalty rates, token distribution, fee pool allocation, staking rewards and more.
The tokenomics of Audius are meant to align governance and financial incentives that will both increase the usage of the protocol. At the same time, it is possible to use stablecoins for micropayments which offer huge advantages for all parties involved.
Discovery and Content Nodes
Audius is using the AudSP a decentralized storage protocol that is an extension of the IPFS that allows truly decentralized storage of the content. Content nodes provide the availability of content as well as metadata. Such a node can be run by any node operator who is holding a stake. In return, the operator earns a reward in form of AUDIO for providing his service. Content nodes ensure the following:
- The upload flow on Audius
- The content permissioning
- Proxy re-encryption
- Unlock conditions, e.g. user has to pay to enjoy the content
Discovery nodes on the other hand serve a different purpose. Node operators also need a stake to run a discovery node and they also earn a reward from the token issuance in return. Discovery nodes are allowing fans to discover the content by providing an index of metadata that is not only decentralized but is also not under the influence of a third party. These nodes are read-only and allow to fetch feeds, a playlist, metadata of songs and artists, and execute any other query about the network.