Taking aim squarely at Soundcloud, Audius has launched the public beta of its free decentralized audio streaming platform that directly connects artists and fans. DJs like deadmau5 and Zed’s Dead are already backing the platform which has attracted $5.5 million in venture capital.
The combined monthly listenership on Audius is currently 10 million.
Move Over Soundcloud
Some Soundcloud users have pushed back over the music platform's expanded paid offerings and seemingly random takedown policies. So Audius is differentiating itself is as a "free censorship-resistant, community-controlled platform (that) gives artists the power to share their music and grow their fan base in an industry stifled by corporate influence."
"Industry stifled" is also code for "we won't ever take down the music you post." Audius can attempt to have that policy because it uses an open-source protocol built on the blockchain and does not actually host the music. Instead, the site runs atop the Audius testnet, which launched in August and includes over a dozen decentralized storage and indexing nodes distributed around the world.
Some big names in electronic music, including deadmau5, Zeds Dead, Graves, Stafford Brothers, Mr Carmack, Rezz, 3LAU, and Brownies & Lemonade, have already signed on as advisory board members and early adopters. These artist-advisors, along with hundreds of carefully selected artists, have participated in the private beta and helped to ensure the platform is adequately addressing their most pressing needs.
“I pride myself on being an early adopter and innovator. As an artist, I spend much of my time seeing around the corner to the future of the industry, and Audius is clearly the way forward,” said Joel Zimmerman, known professionally as deadmau5. “I’m thrilled to join this team. Audius’ dedication to empowering artists through supporting direct relationships with fans, censorship resistance, and fair pay is so important in a time when artists are being mistreated regularly.”
“We built Audius to put artists in control of their content, listener data and relationships with fans,” said Roneil Rumburg, CEO of Audius. “We are passionate about using technology to unleash creativity and disrupt the status quo. Judging by the thousands of people ready to join our platform today, the time to do so is now.”
How Fans Use Audius
Anyone who joins Audius can effectively become an artist by uploading tracks. "The platform is designed to break down barriers, and make sharing and interacting with music seamless between all community members." Audius says that eventually, it will turn over 90% of revenue to artists.
"Audius transforms listening into a social music experience that allows artists, fans, and developers to freely express themselves. Unlike streaming services owned by centralized companies, the Audius community interacts directly to create, curate, and consume content with no risk of censorship or deplatforming. The result is a permanent home for unparalleled relationships and diversity of content," the startup said in a statement.