Audius rolls out music marketplace, partners with DistroKid and Beatport

Photo by Charlie Gross.
Audius Co-Founder and CEO, Roneil Rumburg and Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Forrest Browning.

San Francisco-based blockchain-powered music platform Audius has launched a music marketplace in beta, providing a platform for its 6 million users to support artists with direct payments.

Audius users will now be able to directly support their favorite artists through credit card payments in USDC. This feature allows artists and rights holders to convert earnings to their preferred currency, including USD, EUR, GBP, or others.

The new feature provides creators with the ability to set prices for their music, both for streaming and downloads, delivering instant payouts. Fans can then choose to pay more than the list price, providing extra support to musicians.

Additionally, Audius introduced the $AUDIO Match program as part of the Audius Network, offering a 1:1 match of $AUDIO tokens for every purchase.

For instance, if an artist sells access to their music for $5 in USDC, both the artist and the fan will receive an additional 5 $AUDIO tokens from the Audius Network. This rewards program is enabled by Audius’ community-owned model.

A select group of artists, including Kato on the Track, Matt Ox, RAC, Cheat Codes, The Glitch Mob, Daniel Allan, and more than 40 others, will be among the first to use this new monetization capability. 

Additionally, a number of independent record labels, such as EMPIRE, Nettwerk Music, Circus Records, Bitbird, Anjunadeep, Anjunabeats, and others, have joined forces with Audius to increase revenue for their artists. 

The company also announced that it partnered with independent distributor DistroKid to allow indie artists to upload their music to Audius.

Audius also teamed up with Ampsuite, the label operations management platform owned by Beatport, to allow labels to distribute their music to Audius.

“When we launched Audius four years ago, our mission was to create an artist-centric platform where artists could take more control of their music and deepen their relationships with their most passionate fans,” said Audius Co-Founder and CEO Roneil Rumburg.

“Empowering fans to make direct payments to the artists they love is a milestone moment for Audius and for all of the artists and labels who have made our community a key part of their offering to fans.”

 Roneil Rumburg, Audius

“Today artists and record labels will be able to set their own price to unlock music for their fans — b-sides, new mixes and more. Empowering fans to make direct payments to the artists they love is a milestone moment for Audius and for all of the artists and labels who have made our community a key part of their offering to fans.”

Audius says the new partnerships will help indie artists to engage directly with their fans and increase their income within the Audius music marketplace. 

The company, which describes itself as a “global decentralized music community and discovery platform,” is owned and run by an open-source community of artists, music fans and developers globally.

The Audius platform is powered by its own crypto token, $AUDIO, allowing artists to retain control of how their work is distributed and providing them with new revenue streams.

The company counts Katy Perry, Nas, and the Chainsmokers, as well as SESAC CEO John Josephson, former Sony Music Publishing boss Marty Bandier, Three Six Zero founder Mark Gillespie, and all-round music biz mogul Guy Oseary among its backers.

Audius raised $5 million in funding from these investors back in 2021.

Forrest Browning, co-founder and chief product officer of Audius, told MBW in an interview in June that a lot of the company’s initial traction was in electronic music and hip-hop.

“A lot of the artists that do well on Audius are not necessarily putting up the same catalog that they have on all the major DSPs [like] Spotify or Apple Music. Instead, what tends to do really well on Audius is this grassroots sort of direct interaction – maybe [via] b-sides, or long-form DJ sets,” Browning said.

Music Business Worldwide