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Audius Prepares To Remove Music Industry Middlemen With Blockchain

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For a long time there has been a lot of hue and cry about the middlemen in the Music Industry leading to the other common belief, it is no longer a creators world. There have been many projects that have come up to make the change and reduce the way artists can reach their fans and bring in more transparency using blockhain. Dot Blockchain founded by Benji Rogers and Ujo Music under the Etherium company Consensys are some to begin with.

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ transactions stored in blocks are recorded and added in chronological order. It allows participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central record keeping. Each computer on the network is called a node gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what’s known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.

What is Audius?

Audius co-founders (from left): head of product Forrest Browning, CEO Ranidu Lankage, CTO Roneil Rumburg

Audius is the newest music streaming platform coming up into the market later this year. Coming out of stealth today led by serial entrepreneur and DJ Ranidu Lankage, Audius  is building a blockchain-based alternative to Spotify or SoundCloud. Audius wants to cut the middlemen out of music streaming so artists get paid their fair share.

Providing a transparent network in a space traditionally controlled by third parties, Audius builds a bridge between creators and consumers. Discover new content or verify authenticity, authorized through a truly transparent system of attribution.

Audius uses blockchain technology to ensure that artists get paid safely & instantly as consumers listen to content. Choose from preexisting license terms or create your own and automate the payments, transfers and issuance of licenses. Lankage was always been passionate about building tools for creators.

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 – Ranindu Lankage

How does it work?

Users will pay for Audius tokens or earn them by listening to ads. Their wallet will then pay out a fraction of a cent per song to stream from decentralized storage across the network, with artists receiving roughly 85 percent — compared to roughly 70 percent on the leading streaming apps. The rest goes to compensating whomever is hosting that song, as well as developers of listening software clients, one of which will be built by Audius.

Serial Entrepreneur Ranindu Lankage

Lankage has always been passionate about building tools for creators. He was born in Sri Lanka, where his hip-hop songs in his native tongue of Sinhalese were the first of the language to be played on the BBC and MTV. He got signed to Sony and even went platinum, but left the label seeking greater control over his work. After going to Yale, he applied his music business knowledge to build a Reddit for dance music called The Drop with Twitch’s Justin Kan back in 2015.

The two teamed up again on a video version of Q&A app Quora called Whale, but that fizzled out too. Lankage’s next venture Polly, a polling tool built as a complement to Snapchat, inspired the now super-popular Instagram Stories polls and questions stickers. But after an acqui-hire by Reddit fell through, he returned to his first love: music.

This time, he wanted to focus on helping them turn their art into a profession. He teamed up with CTO Roneil Rumburg, an engineering partner at Kleiner Perkins who’d build a crypto wallet called Backslash, and head of product Forrest Browning, who’d sold his software metering startup StacksWare to Avi Networks.

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