The music industry is changing rapidly and maybe for the better with the new breed of blockchain music streaming services growing quickly.
Streaming music service Audius is now allowing listeners to tip artists so they can monetize their content, the company said.
AUDIO, the Audius platform’s governance token, allows users to tip any artist who publishes their music on the platform, whether they have a large following or not.
Audius, a platform serving seven million listeners and 250,000 artists, caters to artists who want to share their most exclusive content for their biggest fans on the blockchain. Now, it’s taking the platform it has grown since 2018 in the direction of creator monetization to support artists in new ways, Audius co-founder and CEO Roneil Rumburg told CoinDesk.
“We’re not necessarily trying to attract 100% of somebody’s fan base from a different platform. We’re trying to attract maybe the top 10 most engaged superfans,” the ones who will tip their favorite artists, said Forrest Browning, Audius co-founder and chief product officer.
Earlier this year, Audius introduced audio rewards for users to earn tokens by following artists, creating playlists or uploading songs. Fans can now use those tokens to send tips to artists, or connect an external crypto wallet. Audius plans to allow tipping in fiat currency via credit cards in the coming months, according to Browning.
“We kind of see it as laying out the breadcrumbs to help our mainstream, Web2 audience start to understand how to tip and how to support their favorite artists and a Web3 ecosystem,” said Browning.
But tipping isn’t just a one-way street. Artists can react to fans’ tips with emojis to show their thanks. And fans’ tips will display in their profile, as well as on a public leaderboard for artists’ biggest tippers.
Audius, built on the Ethereum and Solana chains, has been making significant strides in the Web3 music scene. In December, the streaming platform partnered with crypto game DeFi Land to create a radio station in the metaverse. In September, the platform raised $5 million from musicians Katy Perry, The Chainsmokers and Pusha T.
The audio token is Ethereum-based, but has a Solana bridge for transaction speed and cost efficiency. According to data from CoinGecko, the token currently trades at 39 cents with a market cap of $281 million. In August, its market cap surpassed $1 billion following the announcement of its TikTok collaboration.
Via the source