Audius, the 'Decentralized Spotify,' Is Moving Part of Its Service to Solana Blockchain

Decentralized music-sharing platform Audius is moving certain hosting functions onto the Solana network, though staking remains on Ethereum.

AccessTimeIconOct 29, 2020 at 5:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:25 a.m. UTC
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Decentralized music app Audius announced Thursday it will migrate its content management system over to Solana's high-speed blockchain from an Ethereum sidechain operated by the POA Network that runs on a set of trusted validators.

Audius occupies a similar space to popular music players like Pandora or Spotify, but it allows artists to set their own terms. It also lets other developers make use of its underlying content. Audius reports strong recent growth in users, currently boasting 800,000 active users and over 150,000 tracks available for streaming.  

Due to high gas fees and slow block times on Ethereum, it appears to be porting season in the dapp space. We previously reported on Terra, Kin and USDC moving onto Solana. Similarly, the automated market maker and pooled assets manager Balancer has been incentivizing efforts to help it offer services on other networks, such as Oasis and NEAR

In an announcement shared with CoinDesk in advance, the Audius team wrote:

"Given our need to utilize a high-performance blockchain today, Solana's growing set of 182 validators (as of this writing) combined with a battle-tested architecture gives our community the confidence that Audius's catalog can scale at ease, a crucial component of our path to mainstream adoption."

Notably, when Kin announced its move to Solana in June, it also announced an incentive arrangement with Solana that would unlock grants of SOL tokens for each million users Kin brought in over a 24-month period.

Audius CEO Roneil Rumburg declined to disclose the exact arrangement with Solana, stating that it was primarily a technical consideration. However, he wrote to CoinDesk in an email, "There's an agreement between the two teams that involves technical support, deliverables for support, and incentives. ... Solana will help Audius have the best user experience possible."

Audius node operators and artists use the AUDIO token to stake, allowing for different functions on the network. Staking and governance functionality will remain on Ethereum.

However, the higher-throughput needs required by actually hosting, finding and streaming music will port over to Solana, which boasts extremely low transaction fees and millisecond block times. Audius expects the migration to happen in three phases, wrapping up in the second quarter of 2021. 

The Audius app is available on iOS and Android app stores and on the web. The company behind the platform has raised $9.8 million to date, according to Rumburg, over two rounds. The first in 2018 was led by General Catalyst and Lightspeed; the second in 2020 was led by Multicoin and Blockchange.


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