Decentralised music streaming service Audius has announced a $5m funding round that includes investment from some big names in the music world.
Katy Perry, Nas, The Chainsmokers, Jason Derulo and Pusha T are among the artists backing the blockchain startup, along with Sound Ventures (the firm co-founded by veteran manager Guy Oseary), Electric Feel Ventures and former Sony/ATV boss Martin Bandier.
The funding comes as Audius reached its latest milestone: six million monthly active users listening to its service.
The company emerged in 2018 with $5.5m of funding, and was quickly dubbed ‘SoundCloud on the blockchain’ for its focus on independent artists uploading their music to its decentralised platform.
It has since raised further funding rounds – $3.1m in August 2020 and $1.25m in October that year – and built its community of listeners and artists, while also exploring NFTs and co-launching a fund for artists with two other blockchain firms. Most recently, Audius added a feature enabling artists to share their music from its platform directly to TikTok.
What’s interesting about today’s news is that Katy Perry, The Chainsmokers, Nas and Jason Derulo aren’t DIY artists: they’re firmly rooted in the traditional system of label and publishing deals. If they want to put their music in Audius, there will be some licensing hoops to jump through.