What Is Audius (AUDIO)?
What Is Audius (AUDIO)?

What Is Audius (AUDIO)?

Avaldatud Dec 24, 2021VĂ€rskendatud May 17, 2024

Key Takeaways

Audius (AUDIO) is a blockchain-based decentralized music streaming platform. The project aims to give artists and curators more control over their music creations. When artists upload content to Audius, they can produce immutable records for their work, which will be secured by a decentralized network of nodes.

Audius removes the middlemen in the traditional music industry by connecting artists directly to their fans. Artists have the sole ownership of their music and can decide how to monetize them on the platform. They can distribute their music free of charge or set custom fees for fans to unlock exclusive content. 

Unlike other music streaming services, Audius does not take a cut from artists’ revenue. Music curators can receive 90% of the revenue in AUDIO, the native cryptocurrency of Audius. The other 10% will be given to stakers that support the Audius network. 

AUDIO is an ERC-20 token that also serves as the governance token on Audius. Holders can stake their AUDIO to help secure the network, participate in the governance of Audius, and access exclusive content. They can also get AUDIO rewards from staking.


With the rise of music streaming platforms, listening to music has been more accessible than ever. However, artists have always faced challenges in the traditional music industry, such as low earnings and transparency and minimal control over how to distribute or sell their content. Audius aims to tackle these challenges by empowering music creators and helping them monetize their content via its native cryptocurrency, AUDIO.

What is Audius?

Audius is a fully decentralized music streaming platform that enables listeners to support artists directly via its native cryptocurrency, AUDIO. As of December 2021, Audius has almost 6 million monthly unique users and hosts over 100,000 artists.

Co-founded in 2018 by Forrest Browning and Roneil Rumburg, Audius revolutionalizes the traditional music industry model by removing the middlemen and record label barriers. Unlike other streaming platforms, artists' revenue is not determined by how many times a song is played. Audius gives artists exclusive ownership of their music, and they get to decide how to monetize their work. According to Audius, music curators will receive 90% of the revenue in AUDIO tokens, while the remaining 10% will go to node operators (stakers) supporting the Audius network.

Audius is a layer 2 blockchain protocol initially built on an Ethereum sidechain called the POA Network. Due to a growing demand to stream content, Audius faced scaling issues and decided to migrate its content management system to the Solana blockchain in 2020 to enhance its performance. But its native cryptocurrency, AUDIO, remains on the Ethereum blockchain. AUDIO is an ERC-20 governance token that allows stakers to vote on proposals related to network changes and upgrades. They can also unlock exclusive features by staking AUDIO coins.

How does Audius work?

Audius aims to solve the challenges artists face in the music industry, including music rights, royalties, and ownership, by giving everyone the freedom to distribute, monetize, and stream music. It eliminates the intermediaries between artists and their audience, allowing them to interact directly on the platform. 

Unlike the traditional channels of the music industry, Audius doesn't pay artists based solely on the number of times their tracks are played. It also considers artists' activity on the platform, the way they interact with fans, and the overall engagement from users.

On Audius, artists can upload and distribute their songs by the decentralized nodes. There are several ways for artists to earn revenue from their audio content without sacrificing their ownership. They can get AUDIO by making it to the Top 5 Weekly Trending Track, Top 5 Weekly Trending Playlist, Top 10 Monthly API App, and first track upload after verifying their social media accounts.

Audius also let artists engage with their community via artist tokens. Artist tokens give holders exclusive access to token-restricted content, such as unreleased tracks, remix competitions, etc. Occasionally, Audius plans to airdrop AUDIO tokens to artists based on their level of social engagement with fans and the number of listens.

In the future, Audius plans to add support for USDT and other stablecoins for fans to unlock paid content.

What is AUDIO?

The Audius token (AUDIO) is the native cryptocurrency that powers the Audius protocol. It serves three main functions in the Audius ecosystem: 

  • Secure the network.

  • Act as a governance token.

  • Give access to exclusive features and content.

AUDIO is an ERC-20 token with an initial total supply of 1 billion and no maximum supply. As of December 2021, over 500 million AUDIO is already in circulation.


The Audius network is secured by decentralized nodes. Anyone can become a node operator by holding and staking AUDIO tokens. The larger their stake, the higher the chance their nodes are used by fans to discover music content. By helping to run the protocol operations, they can earn AUDIO from the ongoing token issuance and aggregated fee pools.

There are two types of nodes on Audius: content nodes and discovery nodes. Content nodes host, secure, and manage content on behalf of the artists. Artists can also run as content nodes to host their own content, but it's optional. Discovery nodes index the metadata and music uploaded to the Audius content ledger to allow fans to quickly search for artists or songs. 

The nodes on the network will continuously submit snapshots of artists' work to the blockchain. This can generate immutable time-stamped records for the content.


AUDIO also serves as a governance token. As mentioned, AUDIO stakers can participate in the network's operations as content nodes or discovery nodes. If users want to vote on proposals for upcoming network updates, they can earn governance power by continuously creating value for the network.

On Audius, stakers don't necessarily need to run a node before they can voice their opinion. The community is encouraged to share their thoughts on the protocol. One AUDIO token gives them one vote. AUDIO rewards align with the incentives of artists, fans, and node operators so that they can enjoy a decentralized music streaming experience.

Feature access

The AUDIO token allows fans and artists to unlock exclusive features on the platform. Artists can leverage AUDIO to grow and better engage their fan base. By staking AUDIO, artists can access content distribution tools to distribute their artist tokens to fans. Fans that hold artist tokens can then unlock exclusive access to their content and unique experiences, such as listening to unreleased tracks, joining remix competitions, and more.

Users who hold a certain amount of AUDIO in their Audius wallet can unlock 4 VIP tiers to enjoy additional benefits. The more AUDIO they have, the higher the VIP tier. After reaching the minimum threshold for a VIP tier, users can earn a profile badge that gives access to new features as soon as they are released. The requirements and benefits of each tier can be changed through community governance.

How does Audius differ from other streaming platforms?

One of the major differences between Audius and other streaming platforms like Spotify is that it leverages blockchain technology to run in a decentralized manner. This allows artists and content creators to share their music with more control over their content. 

According to the co-founders, 90% of the platform’s revenue will go to the artists directly. Compared to the general numbers in the traditional music industry, where only 12% goes to the artists, Audius allows them to earn a more reasonable pay.

Another difference is that Audius includes AUDIO token holders, be it artists or fans, in the decision-making process for the network. Holding one AUDIO token gives them one vote to participate in the governance of the protocol. They can vote for or against any proposed changes on the platform, which is not something we can find on other music streaming services.

Audius also shows that it has the ability to help artists cultivate their fan base and community. It is the first music streaming platform to partner with TikTok, a video streaming social media platform. This partnership enables TikTok users to add songs on the Audius platform to their videos directly. Apart from TikTok, Audius has also integrated with blockchain game DeFi Land in the form of an FM radio tower in the game’s metaverse, which could help promote artists.

Closing thoughts

Audius might look just like another music streaming service, but it presents new possibilities for the music industry and artists. It also demonstrates how blockchain applications can be used in many different aspects of our lives, both in real life and in the metaverse.