As with everything in life, you have to start somewhere. If you have not heard of Audius before or if you have not yet heard about the AUDIO token then this explainer will take you through what it is and how it works.
Both decentralization and blockchain technology have been working together in harmony for some time now. There was a time when the application for both was presumed to be scarce, and it was believed by both investors and analysts that this technology would not last even a single year, let alone a decade as it has. Bitcoin first got launched in 2009, and since then, many other cryptocurrencies have seen the spotlight, whereas many others are still in production and the general concept and adaptability of cryptocurrencies remain strong and potent.
Do you often listen to music online or stream it on the internet? If so, then you must have come across a wide variety of streaming services available out there; some of the artists that work on those platforms are in active contract with the platform itself, whereas some are working independently and are thus facing blow after blow in terms of menial pay rate, less transparency and no control over the music they produce such as who they are going to sell this content to and how to distribute it in the most promising way.
Covering this dilemma not only for the centralized music streaming but also for decentralized users, Audius has come forward with a platform of its own to not only handle these challenges on a better note but also give the power back to the music creators and monetize their content using the native cryptocurrency of the platform which is AUDIO.
What is Audius?
Just like many music streaming enterprises out there, Audius is the same but with a decentralized twist. It means that the platform in itself is completely off the charts for consistent reach out from artists and people who truly want to make and develop content around music but are afraid of getting their work stolen or misused in the conventional or centralized world. Audius works by protecting each and every right of the artist in question, which means that it doesn’t matter what kind of content they are putting out there; it will be fully guarded with decentralized security and the utmost level of encryption that is consistently impossible to break off until 51% nodes of the network wish to do so.
Using the Audius platform, these artists would also be able to get support from the listeners and people who like their music or content would be able to pay them in the native cryptocurrency, which is AUDIO. Audius is a new concept, but it is rapidly growing, and it has already reached 6 million unique users on a monthly basis, with more than 100,000 artists already hooking the network with their own unique music.
The network itself was founded back in 2018, and since then, it has grown so much in terms of active users, artists who are willing to put out their content over the platform, as well as the supporting rate or statistics from listeners to these artists, have also grown vividly. The main aim of the Audius network was to remove the middleman from the music industry and take out any and all record label barriers which exist between the artist and the audience they are trying to reach.
Now you might be wondering that just like many other streaming services out there, the overall revenue that these artists can generate might depend on just how many times their music or song was played, determine the overall popularity of music among the listeners, and if the content is worth the revenue, then the network should provide it with.
This is not how things work at Audius; it provides artists with exclusive ownership of the content that they have developed and because the work belongs to the artist in question, which is why they are given a chance to monetize their work however they see fit. For all their efforts and hard work that they are pouring into their music, they will receive about 90% of the revenue that their songs generate over the Audius network in the form of AUDIOs tokens.
The remaining 10% of the revenue is required to keep the nodes or validators of the network to continue supporting the infrastructure required to host music on it and other such elements in real-time. The Audius network is a layer two blockchain configuration built over the Ether sidechain network, which is known as the POA network. There is this specific element associated with the Ether network; it is the very fact that the network is extremely congested and can’t facilitate a large influx of users at all times, especially when all the resources are already engaged in working with the present users to accommodate them in a much better and unique way.
This brings forward multiple issues regarding scalability and interoperability; Audius started to grow both in number and popularity back in the day, which is why it was paramount for the network to get around this scalability issue to facilitate a growing flux of users both in terms of listeners and artists. That is why the network decided to move its infrastructure from Ether to Solana blockchain in 2020, but even so, the native crypto of Audius network, which is AUDIO remains intact over the Ether blockchain.
It works as an ERC-20 token which means that users can both be for products and services using this token over the Audius network, and they can engage in governance-related aspects of the network. Having this token allows holders to take part in multiple governance oriented aspects of the network itself, including but not limited to deciding what specific offerings should be made available over the network, how the content belonging to a specific artist should be monetized and what kind of changes are required in the monetization infrastructure on a monthly or yearly basis. You can do all of that and more by staking your AUDIO coins over to the Audius network.
How Does Audius Work?
The Audius network has tasked itself to rectify the shortcomings of the conventional music industry and to try to bring a solution to all the challenges that artists face in that very industry; if you are an artist in the music industry and don’t have a strong following or some other legal representation, then it is possible that you would be whipped off of your royalties, ownership as well as music rights because this is how it works in the conventional music industry.
If you don’t have the power to stand up to those people and law firms who have potentially every trick in their bags when it comes to ripping yourself from the music or content that you have developed, then it is almost game over for you. Audius network, on the other hand, makes a pact with the artist by removing any and all intermediaries involved from the production to the launch and from launch to the distribution of the music.
It provides you with all the rights pertaining to all these different sections of music development with the freedom to not only stream your music the way you want it to, distribute it wherever you want but also monetize your content in a way that you prefer. Many artists have earlier collaborated with each other over the platform without the need for having an agent or an intermediary of any sort, and they have produced all the best content ever produced in the music industry, all thanks to protecting the rights and ownership of these people and ripping away the requirements of having an intermediary whatsoever.
As explained earlier, it doesn’t depend on music or content that has been heard or played over, but the monetization factor is completely arbitrary, and you select the revenue stream for your content and no one else. If you have a strong unity over the platform, which means that you have a strong presence and you consistently come up with something new in the coming weeks or months, and your engagement rate with the audience and listeners is impeccable, then, by all means, you will get a strong monetization from the platform which will double or even triple your success roll. You can use any distribution technique you prefer, and when it comes to uploading or distributing the songs as you can use the decentralized nodes of the Audius network to do so.
Remember that you don’t have to give up the ownership of your music or content to be able to earn some revenue from it; this is not something that you have to worry about here because if there is one thing that is absolute gold about decentralization, then it has to be the fact that whatever you have created and produced belongs to you and you alone, no one can steal it, and no one can claim ownership over it without your say so. Just like in the conventional streaming services where multiple topics are generated to tempt the audience, such as the ‘best five weekly trending tracks’ or ‘top ten monthly social media tools’ to try it out, Audius network uses the same strategy to make your content available to its vast audience.
Listeners are always looking for something unique and fresh, and if you can purposefully fulfil that void within the market, then you are up for a treat. You can engage with your fans over the network using the artist tokens. This is just like pre-order or premium access to the content of the artist that has not been released yet and is still in development. Using these token restricted strategies, you can give access to your remixes, tracks that are still in development, or other premium content to the fans who are willing to pay for it, thus increasing your revenue in real-time.
Based on the overall level of engagement that you have with your fans and listeners, the Audius network will also provide you with some of its unique native tokens as a thank you note for being a Rockstar in the community. In the coming future, Audius also plans to add support for various other stable coins for the fans so they can unlock the paid content while still enjoying a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to crypto payments.
What is AUDIO Token?
AUDIO is the native cryptocurrency that powers the Audius infrastructure as it works as both a utility and governance token. You can stake this crypto for the sake of earning a handsome reward by the network, but the actual percentage of reward that you will be getting will depend upon the number of tokens that you have staked and vice versa. Out of the many functions that the AUDIO crypto token provides, some of the most extreme are its undying security to the network, working as a governance token, and providing users with specific access to certain features and content that is only available to the people who have a certain amount of AUDIO token at hand or if they have staked a particular amount.
Just like any other crypto networks out there, these are the decentralized nodes that lend ultimate security to the Audius network. If you have got a certain number of tokens at hand and have staked them as well, then you can become a node operator within the network. The more number of tokens that you have staked, the higher will be your chance to become an active node within the network and not only this, but you will also be able to put yourself out there in the open where fans can reach out to your particular node and discover the content that you have prepared for them.
By helping in the day-to-day operations of the Audius protocol, you become entitled to earn an AUDIO token which you can either use within the network or withdraw to use as you please. There are two particular types of nodes that are present on the network, and these are known as content nodes and discovery nodes. The content nodes are tasked with hosting, managing as well as securing the content that an artist brings to the network itself.
If you don’t trust someone else, then you can become a content node yourself as an artist and work your way through it, but it is extremely optional, and sometimes it is best to let others take care of such things where you focus primarily on your content and the music that you are developing. Whoever is put in charge of a specific artist node will have to gather multiple snapshots of the work that the artist is doing and then subject the whole thing to the blockchain media that the artist has developed.
AUDIO as Governance Token
As explained earlier, the AUDIO token also acts as a governance token which means that if you have staked a particular amount of token within the network then you as a user will get access to performing certain decisions within the network, thus taking part in its various operations.
You will get to vote on specific agendas of the network which are closely tied with the governance aspects of the protocol; some of these decisions might circulate around which specific cryptocurrencies are welcome on the network, what specific changes or arbitrations should be proposed to the present monetization model for the artists and deal with other governance oriented aspects of the network whenever these present themselves. You don’t have to run a node to cast your vote or opinion around a certain matter related to governance; anyone who has staked a particular amount of crypto over the network is welcome to voice their opinion over the protocol.
If you have a single AUDIO token, then it means you have the power to cast a single vote; as the number of tokens in your possession increase, so do your value of decision in particular governance-oriented matters of the network. Audius has done an exceptionally well job of providing people with a platform that is not biased at all, it has nothing to do with artists, and it has nothing to do with the listeners but to provide them with a common platform where they can come together, interact with each other and share their opinions about things whereas valuing the content that is the music itself.
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