According to Rolling Stone, the rappers along with Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, Disclosure, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and a group of veteran music executives are now stakeholders in the company. On Thursday (Sept. 16), Audius, which launched in 2018, is expected to announce a $5 million round of funding. The company is built on blockchain technology, which is used to support non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
“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.”
Audius allows artists to be paid faster when fans stream their music. With the use of blockchains, 90 percent of earnings from monetized streams immediately go to the artist, while the other 10 percent goes to the Audius community to keep the business running.
“The blockchain is enabling entirely new revenue streams for artists and creators, like NFTs, social currency, and curation,” Sony/ATV Music Publishing CEO Martin Bandier, who is also an investor, said. “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, which is currently being used by over six million people, recently snagged a deal with TikTok, becoming the first streaming company to partner with the popular app. With the collaboration, any artist can take a song they already have on the streaming service and transport it over to TikTok in one click, allowing people to use the music in their videos.
Users can currently use Audius for free, but that may change in the near future as the company continues to grow.