Free artist hosting and music streaming start-up Audius has launched as a blockchain-based SoundCloud rival saying “it was SoundCloud’s opportunity to lose and now it’s ours.”
Positioning itself as a Soundcloud alternative, Audius aims to win customers by eliminating the issues that have plagued Soundcloud in recent years, particularly in the areas of hosting costs, takedowns and user experience.
Audius enables artists to upload their songs at no cost, and users can browse, follow and get listening recommendations. The catalog is small to start, with just a few hundred artists, but the company plans to lure artists choosing between other SoundCloud alternatives, including Mixcloud and YouTube.
Audius uses an open-source protocol built on blockchain. It doesn’t actually host the music, but decentralizes it across independently operated nodes to protect it from lawsuits and record label pressure. It’s distributing its own crypto tokens to incentivize artists that join early.
The startup plans to let artists opt into requiring users to occasionally listen to ads or pay a few dollars per month for an Audius subscription. Ninety percent of revenue will go to the artists and 10% to the node operators, and there are also plans to cut in playlist curators. Audius itself hopes the value of its tokens will rise so it can sell from its stockpile to generate revenue.