HOW THEY WORK
This is a pretty simple one. Just create an account, build out your profile, and upload your catalog onto the streaming service.
Account creation automatically builds your digital wallet which will hold your rewards as they are earned.
AudioNode finds these services currently lacking appeal to drive artists to make the switch, but with TikTok integration and new products built off the open-source protocol, the tables could be turning in the near future. For the time being, there is no harm in uploading a catalog onto a web3 platform.
Music discovery isn’t as powerful on web3 streaming services yet, but are rapidly improving due to incentive structures set up for developers to run “discovery nodes”. Meaning, simply uploading an artists’ catalog will not drive plays or earn rewards for the artist at this time. And with 1/100th of the users of Spotify, that’s a much smaller population to discover a new artist. Do not expect to receive plays on these services simply for uploading a catalog, it will take marketing efforts to drive streams.
To find success on these platforms, an artist will need to sell this new service to their fans. The main “sell” would be letting fans know of the rewards for music listeners on these web3 platforms. Unless your fans are developers with experience using APIs to build tooling, fans will mostly only be earning rewards by curating popular playlists.
Earning streaming rewards, like Spotify, is a fairly passive activity for artists. Artists earn based on streams with bonuses for having a trending song on the platform. Fans drive the rewards for artists but they also earn rewards by curating popular playlists or building an application using an open API that drives traffic to the platform.
Rewards earned by artists and fans can be cashed out by sending the native token rewards in their wallet to a CEX (Coinbase, Blockchain.com, etc), selling the native tokens for USD and then transferring it to their bank account.
PROs + CONs
Artists are able to earn more per stream than current web2 competitors
Audius was built to mimic Spotify, so the format will be familiar to most non-crypto users
There are no fees for setting up accounts or streaming music on Audius
Audius has only 1% of the users of Spotify
Artists are required to motivate their fans to join the platform, create playlists with their music, and/or build APIs to drive music discovery in order to benefit more than a web2 streaming service alternative
For the most part, only Artists with a fanbase heavily involved in the web3 space are currently finding success on these platforms