Nas and Pusha T are among a group of music business heavyweights who have backed a new streaming network that aims to compete with Spotify, Apple Music, and TIDAL.
Nas and Pusha T invest in Audius
Audius is a streaming service based on blockchain — the same technology that underpins NFTs — that allows musicians to be paid faster when their music is played.
Audius will announce a $5 million round of strategic fundraising later today, according to Rolling Stone (September 16). A-listers including Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, and Disclosure are among those who have already purchased tickets.
Audius has also gained support from a number of seasoned music executives, including Martin Bandier, the former CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Guy Oseary, the longtime manager of Madonna and U2, and Mark Gillespie, the manager of Frank Ocean and Calvin Harris.
According to Rolling Stone, JAY-Z’s TIDAL which launched in 2015 with over a dozen artist stakeholders including Beyoncé, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and J. Cole, was the last time such a group of music heavyweights engaged in a streaming platform.
Audius, like TIDAL, allows musicians to have more ownership in the platform. But it’s the fast payment process that sets the up-and-coming service different from the competition. 90% of earnings from monetized streams go to the artist in real time, with 10% going to the community that keeps the streaming service running, thanks to its blockchain capabilities.
New investors, more money
This blockchain technology is what has attracted such a prestigious group of investors.
“I believe [blockchains] might be the most important technology to ever hit the music industry,” Nas said in a statement. “Everyone who uploads to Audius can be an owner. You can’t say that about any other platform.”
Martin Bandier continued, “The blockchain is enabling entirely new revenue streams for artists and creators, like NFTs, social currency, and curation. Audius is not only using the blockchain to add potentially significant revenue streams for artists, but it also allows them to cooperatively own the platform itself.”
Audius’ $5 million investment comes on the back of the platform’s recent partnership with TikTok, making it the first streaming service to work with the major social media app. Audius presently counts over six million daily active and is free to use, although management predict the pricing model will change in the near future.
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