In the news: Audius Problems

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Thanks for sharing! I’ve heard issues about them in the past, so a really interesting read when it’s all laid out.

I don’t know much about proper protocols for licensing, paying rights-holders, etc., but definitely sounds like an important thing for Resonate to keep in mind as the platform grows.

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Creators and rightsholders whose music brings about 6 million people to Audius every month currently aren’t compensated in any way, with Rumburg describing the platform as “promotional.”


also audius is an example of an uploader tool that’s automated but sucks, as i can recall it dropping my connection and forcing me to start over again with a new release to upload (sorry if i’m using the wrong terms, i’m a musician layperson here)


This is such an extraordinary cautionary tale for us isn’t it? There are so many takeaways from this my head is spinning.

First, this feels like all flavors of scams to me :

“VC Funded” but somehow it’s “for the people to own”

(why the hell would VC fund stuff with money it can’t recoupe I guess they just turned non profit overnight !)

“Anyone who wants to run a node for Audius must hold 200,000 Audius tokens — named AUDIO — which would currently trade for a little more than $400,000 in what is effectively an Audius escrow account”

Oh yeah that definitely sounds like democracy to me !

Creators and rightsholders whose music brings about 6 million people to Audius every month currently aren’t compensated in any way, with Rumburg describing the platform as “promotional.”

That bit is hilarious isn’t it? So what I’m getting from this is that effectively the only way to make money from this platform is by gambling on the tokens, just what the music community needed right??

We philosophically are obviously staunchly opposed to any infringing activity that’s happening.

Which is why they launched a service with absolutely 0 consideration for it. Do note though, that it didn’t keep VCs and some majors backed artists to fund it, so I guess there was some other kind of incentive behind it, what could that possibly be?

The node operators who must put up 200,000 Audius tokens to work with the network earn a 22% return on those tokens, which at the current conversion rate is around $100,000 a year in revenue.

Looks like a Ponzi, Speaks like a Ponzi, builds up like a Ponzi, what could that be?

The venture capital firms and investors that backed Audius early on purchased the right to buy its Audius token in exchange for capital that allowed Audius to fund itself.

It’s all right here right there isn’t it? The whole venture the whole point of it all. There’s nothing else to it and there never was. I would even add that chosing blockchain tech is going to make it a nightmare for them to implement anything at all because it’s going to ultimately always tie them to a failing infrastructure that can’t handle what they need and even makes it harder to implement features and security (they know it since the blockchain’s just a public useless dataset that they have to police which is a nightmare because they can’t even erase the stuff that they discard, and the whole platform is handled through a centralized server which is the only way they know they can provide a decent, desirable service for their user base).

All jokes aside, I think we shouldn’t dismiss the fact that this is directly hurting us because their marketting campain, the way they advertise themselves etc. is in direct “competition” with ours, which can absolutely make people all the more dubious and fearful that claims such as those are ultimately just another internet scam.

I wonder if at some point there wouldn’t be an immediate need for us to advertise ourselves as “the non-blockchain” platform just so that we get the gambling crowd away, if some crypto-enthusiast still feel a desire to join at least it will be for our actual feature-set and not because we offer token drops to bet on. And I think we’re at a point where for a lot of people non-crypto lingo will definitely be seen as a pro not a con.

I think there’s more to this story that meets the eye, in the light of all our talks about the dangers of scaling without the correct infrastructure, this is absolutely the most essential story for us to learn from that I can think of.

Question for @Nick_M do we have a “Content ID Program” and are we thinking of implementing one? If so what is it based on? These are questions I often wondered but felt it was never the right time to ask, but this article begs the question so let’s say the time is now.


It’s certainly one of the attractive use cases for verifiable credentials… we’re doing VC’s as a consortium effort for coop membership and there are a bunch of use cases we considering there, along with a refresh of the tech.

We talked with Tykn about the technical weaknesses of NFT’s (aside from the scamminess you so brilliantly describe in your post) and agreed that a VC-type NFT could have verifiable provenance if there is a trusted issuer (the artist). In a way, Resonate did something very similar in our proof of concept where we issued a VC as a ‘digital receipt’ to listeners who did a ‘buy now’ for a track.

VC’s don’t have any ‘tradeability’ in themselves. I think that’s a good thing, as it is privacy respecting and doesn’t tie the art into some scammy digital blockchain marketplace.

Having said all that we are a way off having the time or resources to do something like that properly. Needs to be done properly, with metadata and provenance and splits for all rights.


audius is no different to soundcloud and the problems they now face are exactly because of that.

open system, with no checks, format encourages piracy because of collection/payola mentality that’s embedded in the system.

it was also created by tech people with little knowledge or actual care for the music industry and rights holders etc. they attempted to solve a problem, but have just gone about it badly. tokenising music whilst ignoring the basic norms of music industry… and the fact that the people you’re pissing off have cash and lawyers to burn.

content ID program is part of professionalising the platform.


Continuing in Content ID thread.