Audius Launches Token-Gated Content for NFT Token Holders

Web3 music streaming platform Audius announced a new feature that would grant artist NFT owners exclusive access to gated tracks.

Artists without sovereign NFT collections can also allow holders of NFTs from popular collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks to unlock tracks.

According to Audius’s official blog, the new feature will introduce the ability to restrict access to tracks through ownership of an NFT collectible. The update gives the power to music artists to turn collectibles into digital keys, which unlock exclusive access to their tracks.

The new feature will require users to be comfortable with Web3 applications since holders of artist NFTs must connect their Solana or Ethereum wallets to Audius to listen to gated tracks. According to a Sep. 2022 Decrypt interview with CEO Roneil Rumburg, this group didn’t constitute the majority of Audius users.

Artists uploading exclusive tracks can tweak their availability from Public to Collectible Gated and select the NFT collection governing access.

Audius token-gating
How Artists Can Gate a Track | Source: Audius

Audius was built on Ethereum but later migrated its content distribution platform to Solana. It enables superfans to engage meaningfully with their favorite artists. Creators can mint immutable records of their works on a blockchain secured by AUDIO stakers.

The platform has attracted investment from global superstars Katy Perry, the Chainsmokers, and Lil Nas X. Upon launch, Audius onboarded electronic artists deadmau5, Brownies & Lemonade, and 3LAU. It also introduced a tipping feature to enable superfans to tip artists using AUDIO.

Audius recently introduced a one-click sign-up process for TikTok members. Artists can also easily export Audius content onto the centralized short video platform. 

Web3 Platforms Share Ideals With Creator-Driven Economy

The Web3 ethos of decentralization from incumbent intermediaries and flexibility dovetail with the principles of the booming content creation economy.

Accordingly, investment in the creator economy has grown in recent years. Firms that traditionally rake in most of the profit from content produced on their platforms have been forced to rethink their business models.

TikTok’s founder ByteDance has been a notable trailblazer in this space, with investments in the metaverse through its acquisition of VR-focused Pico, which competes directly with Facebook parent Meta’s Web3 ambitions. YouTube’s Shorts product directly competes with TikTok.

TikTok launched a recently-revamped version of a $200 million creator fund, dubbed Creativity Program, in beta testing. At the same time, Binance tapped TikTok’s most-followed creator Khaby Lame to promote Web3 in June last year.

Centralized Audius competitor, streaming platform Spotify, also announced that it would offer curated playlists to holders of Flud, Overlord, Kingship, and Moonbirds NFTs. However, the firm has not committed to further Web3 investments.

However, the Swedish platform still far outranks Audius’s user base, with 489 million subscribers compared to Audius, which, as of Sep. 2022, had amassed about 7.5 million users.

BeInCrypto reached out to Audius Chief Product Officer Forrest Browning but had not heard back by press time.

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BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.