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Sri Lankan Pop Star's Audius is the Blockchain Alternative to Spotify and SoundCloud The app addresses the artists' woes in the traditional music-sharing platforms by cutting the middlemen

By Komal Nathani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Can blockchain be used beyond bitcoins? Apparently, it can.

Audius, a decentralised, community-owned music sharing platform, is competing with the likes of Spotify and SoundCloud, with a blockchain based app.

It recently raised a $5.5M funding in Series A round led by US-based General Catalyst and Lightspeed Ventures, with participation from US-based investment firms like Kleiner Perkins, Pantera Capital, 122West and Ascolta Ventures, says a press release by the company.

Co-founded by Sri Lankan pop artist-turned-tech entrepreneur, Ranidu Lankage, Audius connects artists directly to fans and monetizes their work accordingly. The app aims to address the woes of artists in the traditional music-sharing platforms by cutting the middlemen so that they get paid fair share.

The app is a unified mission of Ranidu and his two co-founders Roneil Rumburg and Forrest Browning, to help address the worst elements of traditional music-sharing platforms, which are lack of artist control over the app and transparency in receiving the payments from company.

Niko Bonatsos, the managing director of General Catalyst, says, "I have known Ranidu, Forrest, and Roneil for a long time, and have always been impressed with their ability to blend art, technology, and business together. In Audius, they bring together all three skills, with a deep technical heart and a compelling solution for a very big marketplace. We're excited to see the future of music evolve as the Audius platform launches into the ecosystem."

A Disruptor in the Booming Music-sharing app Industry

The company is planning to launch its open-sourced product by the end of this year. One of the success stories that have come across for the company is the participation of 3LAU, one of EDM's most successful independent artists.

"Artists need decentralized models for music sharing, and a stake in the platforms they contribute content to," says 3LAU, in the release.

He says, "Blockchain allows Audius to do this with tokens and decentralized voting-based governance so artists have a say in how the platform evolves. "It's a very elegant model and one which, as an artist, I find immensely attractive."

The company has also built a world-class team of advisors from all spheres – crypto, tech, and music.
Among these are, Jeremy Gardner , co-founder of Augur & Managing Partner at Ausum Ventures; Paul Veradittakit, partner at Pantera Capital; Bing Gordon, founder of EA & Partner at Kleiner Perkins; Tom Schmidt, product at 0x; and Greg Hazel, chief architect at BitTorrent.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!


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