Audius Announce Blockchain-based Streaming Service

Tech start-up Audius have announced a blockchain-based streaming service that hopes to ensure artists are paid fairly from their music streams.

Lead by entrepreneur and DJ Ranidu Lankage, Audius claims that the platform will see artists receiving 85 percent of the money generated from each stream, compared to the 70 percent offered by competitor’s platforms.

The service will operate through digital wallets filled with tokens that Audius users can either pay to acquire or can earn by watching adverts.

Wallets will then pay out these tokens from a decentralized storage network for each song streamed by the user.

Audius plans to launch an open-sourced beta later this year, giving users the opportunity to try out the technology for themselves.

The San Francisco based company has already raised $5.5m (£4.2m) from investors who reportedly see competitors like Soundcloud to be vulnerable to the cryptocurrency revolution.

Investors are betting that the value of Audius’ virtual tokens will grow in value as a method of payment, making the stockpile it currently possesses worth a fortune.

Despite the complex nature of the platform, Audius’ creators insist that users wouldn’t require any knowledge of cryptocurrency or blockchain to stream music from the service.

The company says their immediate focus is to sign up independent electronic musicians to the platform in an attempt to offer users content they would find elsewhere.

In a recent interview with Techcrunch, Lankage said: ‘The biggest problem in the music industry is that streaming is taking off and artists aren’t necessarily earning a lot of money. And it can take three months, or up to 18 months for unsigned artists, to get paid for streams.

‘That’s what crypto really solves. You can pay artists in near real-time and make it fully transparent.’

Born in Sri Lanka, Lankage has numerous Billboard-charting singles to his name. His hip-hop songs in his native language Sinhalese were the first of the language to be played on the BBC and MTV.

The artist-turned-entrepreneur went platinum after signing to Sony, but left the label seeking greater control over his music. He then turned his attention to the music business with a series of endeavourrs into the world of music-tech, culminating in Audius.