What Is Audius & AUDIO token? How It Is Decentralizing Music Industry?

What Is Audius & AUDIO token? How It Is Decentralizing Music Industry?

By CryptoWise | CryptoWise | 3 Sep 2021

How Audius is empowering music content creators and helping them monetize their talent? Is what we will explore today



I Feel:

“New age economy will be driven by creators of current past and future and the blockchain-driven platforms will become the medium to help creativity thrive to its supreme”

On this note today we will uncover one such promising blockchain platform named “Audius”, which has been making waves in the recent past for its one-of-a-kind service offering for music creators and streamers. You no more need to be a well-known celebrity the only criteria is talent. If you have a talent Audius will help you monetize and leverage their platform to let the world discover your true potential.

So we will learn about this innovative music streaming platform by understanding:

  • What Is Audius & Why It Even Exists?
  • How Does Audius Work?
  • What Makes Audius Unique?
  • Tokenomics Of Audius
  • Why you should consider it in your crypto portfolio?

What is Audius ?

Audius boasts itself to :

Give one & all the freedom to distribute, monetize, and stream unstoppable audio

Audius is a blockchain-enabled, decentralized music streaming platform that comes loaded with social networking features to help artists and music content creators to showcase their talent and build a fan base.

Technically speaking :

It’s a blockchain protocol that lets artists produce immutable and timestamped records for their creative works, secured by a decentralized network of node validators and owners.

Audius In Brief:

  • It fosters an open-source community, a culture where artists, fans, and tech developers can engage and contribute to each other's growth directly and indirectly.
  • It is somewhat similar to Spotify or SoundCloud music hosting and streaming platform, where the music data lies in the decentralized blockchain network instead of the centralized server
  • It is one of the leading non-financial crypto projects in the music streaming space
  • It is largely owned and run by an open-source community of artists, fans, and developers. and has more than 5 million users as of July 2021
  • Till April 2021, more than 7.8 million times a music track hosted on Audius has been streamed and consumed

Why does Even Audius Exist?

Let’s try to decode the problems statement which Audius is trying to solve

Low Earnings & Less transparency :

  • The music industry is reported to generate around $43 billion in revenue, but out of this only 12 % goes to the content artists, which is quite low as compared to what business owners make.
  • There is very little to no transparency around the origins of artist payouts e.g. number of plays, location, original gross payment before fees.

Ownership & control don’t remain with the content artist:

  • The artist has very limited or no control over how their content is being distributed, sold, or consumed

Licensing issues:

Many music labels being created are governed by licensing control, which limits its accessibility & consumption across the globe

Middleman In the System:

In this highly controlled music industry, there are multiple brokers and middlemen involved who thrive upon the artist's work, depriving the artists of earning a fair value of their effort.

Only a few make it to the top :

Not every talented music artist gets the limelight and large fan base, many struggles to make a decent living out of their creativity stint.

How Audius Is Helping Music Artists find their well-deserved status quo?

Well the solution lies in the honest vision Audius has laid down for itself, Audius is trying to solve some of the mentioned issues through its cutting edge music service offering by becoming a more artist-centric and decentralized ecosystem.

They are on the mission to give freedom into the hands of music artists, to distribute, monetize, and stream any audio content. The decentralized Audius protocol is completely aligned to bring artists, node operators, and fans together in an incentive-aligned way, allowing them to collectively provide a high-quality audio streaming experience for music fans across the globe.

They intend to give power into the hands of the creator and have laid down the following foundational beliefs, listed in their white paper

Audius foundational beliefs is that:

  • Users should be compensated in proportion to how much value they create for the network
  • Artists should directly engage with and transact with their fans
  • Governance power should be earned by creating value in Audius, and shared consistently between user groups contributing to the protocol
  • Prices and earnings for participants should be consistent, predictable, and transparent
  • Access should be democratized; anyone can contribute to Audius if they follow the protocol rules, and all information is publicly accessible
  • Intermediaries should be removed when possible; when necessary, they should be algorithmic, transparent, and verifiably accurate

Audius is designed to become more artist and content creator-friendly in its offering to ensure they have the complete ownership and opportunity to monetize it the way they want to. Audius is enabling artists to distribute content and get paid directly from their fans. To support this they are leveraging the following key components.

As per their whitepaper, Audius has:

  • An efficient token economy: Powered by the Audius platform token ($AUDIO), 3rd-party stablecoins, and artist tokens
  • A decentralized storage solution and ledger for sharing audio and metadata
  • A unique track encryption scheme paired with a programmable mechanism to unlock user-specific proxy re-encryption keys for content
  • A discovery protocol for users to efficiently query metadata
  • A decentralized governance protocol, whereby artists, node operators, and fans are individually and collectively enfranchised in decision making about protocol changes and upgrades

Now that we have understood the core vision and mission behind Audius existence, it is time to deep dive into how does it function to serve the mission and vision they have set for the decentralized, music ecosystem.

Audius Architecture & Functioning?

Audius is more like an open-sourced music community with their AUDIO token, aligning incentives across the three key stakeholders of the network :

  • Node operators
  • Artists, and
  • Fans.

The content owners/artists,  fans, and node operators act cohesively to generate a high-quality end-user music streaming experience without centralized infrastructure. The audios protocol architecture, comprises the following key components can be seen in Fig 1 below:

1*UQJ5WJjHS9Hxf0GRmHAzSQ.png Source: Audius

1. Audius token, stablecoins, and artist tokens:

It facilitates three key functionality

  • Content accessibility
  • Security
  • Network governance

Audius has a platform token with shared tokenomics which takes care of the incentives of all the key actors. Token owners can stake their Audius token as collateral for a value-added services(VAS), this helps them earn ongoing issuance, governance weight, and access to exclusive features.

  • Node operators for instance can stake their AUDIO token to help run the Audius protocol operations.
  • Fans can delegate their tokens to the artist and content curators, they like and contribute to fostering their growth on Audius platform
  • Artist and content creators can leverage AUDIO tokens to be used as collaterals against any utility tools they desire to use for their content creation
  • The AUDIO token also plays a key role in community governance, to ensure that Audius tokens are always being funneled to the most value-added actors in the system and not to those who are not actively participating and just staking.

2. Content nodes:

Audius leverages content node which is operated by users interested to act as node operators, to host music content, and manage the required permission. They act on behalf of the artists to secure & manage content accessible to the outer world.

  • Content nodes maintain the availability of content and metadata in Audius on AudSP, (the Audius-native extension to IPFS)

See fig 2 below to understand how this content node engages active network participants

1*mgb3moRd2y_D-iLzzhccDw.png source: Audius

  • These nodes can be run by node operators alongside an active network stake, giving them the opportunity to earn part of the ongoing Audius token issuance and aggregated fee pools, or can be run by an artist themselves to host their own content

3. Discovery nodes:

Discovery nodes are operated by users & play a pivotal role in indexing the content being generated by the creators through ledgers. In order for the fans of the Audius ecosystem to easily navigate and discover the content, the discovery node provides a very efficient mechanism for indexing metadata that can easily be queried by the users.

Audius ensures that this indexing is

  • Decentralized, Efficient, and straightforward for user clients to consume.
  • Provably correct and transparent, eliminating profit incentives to manipulate the results returned to users
  • Highly Extensible, so that the Audius community can explore different ranking and searching methodologies.

4 . Content ledger:

Audius content ledgers are responsible to hold all the data being consumed and exposed by the Audius network and act as the single source of truth for the same.

The Audius content ledger is the amalgamation of

  • Smart contracts on Ethereum
  • POA Network(POA Network is the first Ethereum-based public network with Proof of Authority consensus, reached by independent validator)
  • Other future L1 or L2 blockchain networks

Content ledgers hold the following key information and data

  • Audio content and associated metadata format specifications
  • A decentralized process for music/content artists enabling

- Content tracking

- Controlling ownership structure &

- Managing revenue splits

  • A registry of all nodes accessible in Audius
  • The social graph of all users participating in the Audius Network

The content ledger is in fact a central source of truth for fan/artist engagements happening within the Audius network

5. Governance:

Audius is on a mission of decentralization of music/audio content and to achieve the same, they rely on decentralized governance protocol.

  • Actors like Node operators, music artists, and fans all have a very prominent role in the decisioning of any kind of changes in the protocol which may get proposed from time to time.
  • Audius governance protocols are very user-friendly and rewarding for the creators adding value to the Audius ecosystem. Every actor who contributes to makes this platform content-rich and secure also shares the success generated out of this decentralized governance system.
  • In Audius governance staked tokens are required to vote on any and all proposals, which may facilitate any kind of changes that need to be done at the code side or across the network.
Everything in Audius is governable, and all Audius tokens staked in the protocol automatically receives governance weight on a 1 token, 1 vote basis

Audius fosters the ethos of a community that shares and cares, but with required accountability. They achieve this through their key stakeholders, that are empowered to shape, mend and modify underlying parameters of the Audius protocol including but not limited to:

  • Feature Integrations
  • Royalty Rates
  • Token Distribution
  • Fee Pool Allocation
  • Staking Rewards

Content creators can get rewarded with the AUDIO tokens, for certain milestones like

  • Top 5 weekly trending tracks
  • Top 5 trending tracks
  • Top 5 trending playlists
  • Top 10 API apps

For more details visit:

Introducing $AUDIO Rewards - Audius Blog
Have you ever thought what it would be like to earn a piece of the network you create value for? Well, look no further…blog.audius.co

To Sum up, the overall functioning of Audius is driven & governed by the people, for the people, and of the people. The creators can leverage Audius social media features and tokenomics to build their loyal fan base and earn out of their creative endeavors without sacrificing their ownership.

I feel:

Node operators, content nodes, content ledgers, artists, and fans all form a very strong cohesive ecosystem that thrives on empowering and giving back to the community and thus aligned towards long-term game of sustainability and growth

Now that we have understood key components and architecture behind Audius functioning, it’s time to decode AUDIO tokenomics and journey so far

Audius Tokenomics & Market Stats:

As per coinmarketcap:

Current Market Price:

  • The live Audius price at the time of the writing is $2.70 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $94,509,504 USD.

Market Ranking:

The current ranking is 93, with a live market cap of $1,081,007,052 USD.

Market Supply:

  • It has a circulating supply of 400,244,277 AUDIO coins
  • The max supply is not applicable.

Journey So Far & Roadmap :

Audius Project was founded in 2018 and soon after its launch it has been navigating through the following key phases

Genesis Phase was launched: May 2018– Dec 2018

In this phase, the Audius team released a maiden version of their technical white paper detailing out the plans for the tech architecture and shipped the first functional implementations of the Audius smart contracts, content node, and discovery node

Private Alpha Phase: Jan 2019– July 2019

In Jan 2019, the Audius team enabled community engagement and started users to engage with the protocol and an early client implementation to garner proper feedback. It was an invite-only phase, to identify any technical and usage issues simulated in the controlled environment before enabling 3rd-party node operators into the network.

Test Net Launch Phase: Aug 2019–Sep 2020

Audius enabled the node operator node from an external player in this phase and allowed the artist's content & its associated metadata to be hosted and tested in their official test net in August 2019. In this phase, they allowed multiple node operators to plug their system and gradually Audius tore down most of their internally operated test nodes, maintaining only a few as a canary mechanism to understand how the network is performing.

In testnet phase, they tested these 10 key functionality:

  • Uploading of content
  • Playing content
  • searching content associated with the artists, etc.

The test phase ended on Sep 2020 and saw over 500,000 fans actively participating

MainNet Launch: 

Audius went live on mainnet in Dec 2020, which also led to the introduction of Audius platform token called AUDIO, which allowed artists, content curators node operators, and fans to start earning rewards. 

Funding :

Audius raised money through a Venture Round and a Series A fundraising, Via token sale offers.

  • Venture capital round: Raised 3.1 Million via a token sale
  • 5.5 Million in Series A round

Investors who are backing Audius are :

1*QbkMhIlizzTltoFZzmJQHw.png Source


Launch & Initial Token Distribution:


1*NiFAWxJqRquIvBxhiuDEhQ.png source: messari

  • 50 million AUDIO, or 5% of the total 1B supply, was distributed to the top 10,000 artist and fans. 75% went to artists based on stream count
  • 40.6% of the token supply has been allocated for the Audius team and advisors, with 36% set for distribution among the platform’s investors and 17.8% of supply allocated to a community-governed treasury.
  • Token’s supply is set to inflate by 7% each year for future distributions to users.

Where to Trade Audius?

You can buy and sell Audius tokens by leveraging the some of top crypto exchanges like

  • Binance
  • UniSwap
  • Bitstamp
  • FTX
  • Crypto.com
  • CoinDCX

1*YiMjFOrIYGQGnGY-DZoDuQ.png Source: Coinmarketcap

For market details :

Audius price today, AUDIO live marketcap, chart, and info | CoinMarketCap
The live Audius price today is $2.63 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $81,974,835 USD. We update our AUDIO to USD…coinmarketcap.com

Some Stats Worth Knowing:

In the recent past Audius has been making a lot of waves due to its added support for platform users to display their own NFT collections on their respective profile pages. Until now, users could only display NFTs minted on Ethereum, the leading platform for tokenized collectibles. They have grown rapidly in 2021 and it is worth knowing some stats about their growth journey so far

  • There are over 100,000 artists on Audius, including relatively well-known names like Skrillex, Weezer, deadmau5, Russ, Mike Shinoda, Diplo, Madeintyo, Odesza, Disclosure, Alina Baraz, and Wuki.
  • They are leveraging the Solana ecosystem and have been growing rapidly, now with over 6 million active user bases.
Solana is a high-performance L1 blockchain capable of 50,000 transactions per second with costs as low as $0.00001 per interaction, to help scale the network.

To learn more about Solana, refer to my article below:

Crypto Basics: What is Solana & SOL token?
What Is Solana & Why should have it in your portfolio?medium.co

Road Ahead:

Audius stands at the forefront of pioneering the vision for a community-owned streaming protocol. It has seen large-scale adoption and has come a long way from where they have started. Every month they serve millions of users and counting. They have a very strong tokenomics to further strengthen their leadership position in the music streaming and audio sharing domain.

Its community token AUDIO registered an all-time high of $ 4.95 in March 20201 and currently trading at $ 2.9, almost 40 %, down from its previous ATH, so it is a potential candidate to dollar cost average and invest, if not invested yet.

Audius has been increasingly embraced by artists of all walks as a go-to destination to drop exclusive releases. This exclusivity is the most valuable and coveted piece of content, especially with regard to well-established mainstream brands like Soundcloud, etc..

Considering its thriving community, proven use case, and recently added support for NFT, its future seems to be very promising and must be on the watch list of potential crypto enthusiasts and music creators & lovers. It can probably achieve its previous ATH by the end of this year 2021, but how far it can go in terms of its price is something we have to wait and watch.

Their recent partnership with Tiktok is a strong validation of its service offering and it can help it amass a huge fan base for their artists & content creator community.

TikTok Mixes It Up With Ethereum, Taps Audius as First Music Streaming Partner - Decrypt
Audius is a crypto-based streaming music service. Image: Shutterstock In brief Audius, a decentralized blockchain-based…decrypt.co

I feel:

“It has all the ingredients to become a very strong social network project running on the decentralized blockchain, supporting the dreams of millions of content creators and fans who are consuming it. Their network token will thrive due to its inherent nature of being a community-driven and rewarding mechanism, so instead of speculating what that price will be, it is advisable to see it as a strong tech play that can change the music and the content industry for the larger good of the humanity.

“Network and community is the true NetWorth especially when it comes to the crypto world. Audius has both these attributes apart from unique service offerings that can make it quite lucrative for the crypto investors who have the eye for long-term gems to bet on ”


Opinions expressed here at CryptoWise are not investment advice and are only for educational purposes. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any losses you may incur are your responsibility.


This article was originally published in my medium account. Here is the link:


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