In the world of music streaming, one of the major issues is the remuneration of artists. Today, many platforms take the majority of commissions, and musicians only receive a tiny portion of the purchase they make. But Audius is changing the situation. In order to better understand how the platform works, we spoke with Fils de Luxe, the French duo has climbed to 24th place in the “Underground Trends” for a day.
How did you find out about the Audius app?
Romain: We had fun playing with cryptocurrency a bit and Aurélien found Audius’ one, called AUDIO. He got interested in the project so we downloaded the app and got to know the environment. We will be using it for a month or two. That’s not bad, we have around 700 followers, compared to 140 on YouTube, and we accumulate a lot more streams in a month. We are also followed by foreign people, which makes us an audience outside our borders.
Audius promises 90% compensation for artists, while we are on 12% on other streaming platforms. How do they manage to generate a profit despite this?
Aurélien: Audius has mined its own cryptocurrency. So they own 100% of the base of their currency, much as if they had made money. Then they put this cryptocurrency on the markets and it is now on big platforms, like Binance (note: value multiplied by 500 since). This is the money they use to pay artists. In and of itself, if the app crashes and their currency isn’t worth anything, that’s not very good for artists. On the other hand, if the Audio crypto continues to rise … It’s money that they created, suddenly coming out of nowhere. It’s a kind of bubble: it can keep climbing, but if it bursts it’s over.
As artists, do you have to invest at some point or it’s all free?
Romain: No, everything is free. After that, it is the artist’s choice whether or not to download his sounds for free. They are of good quality and download very quickly. I took the test, frankly hat!
On their site, they claim to have the best audio quality of any streaming service, is that the case?
Aurélien: You need devices to measure that, it depends on the medium on which you are listening. On Spotify, I don’t think we would see a huge difference. On the other hand on YouTube and on big speakers, it is noticeable. Even if you don’t notice it, the sound hurts your ears less. It’s great that they don’t compress the sound too much because it’s still intended for audiophiles.
Romain: Yes, we thought the sounds were better because they might be less compressed than on other platforms. That’s why you can sometimes have gaps between the sounds a little bigger than on YouTube, but on the other hand, it sounds better.
Is there a certain musical sector more represented than the others or we can really find everything on Audius?
Aurélien: As on SoundCloud, I think that we will find very few old songs there, a lot of recent things, original content posted by the artists who make the sounds, a lot of remixes… and I have the impression that this ‘is very electro.
Romain: Depending on who you add, you can really have anything. Yesterday, I even had a choir of priests, people who recite stuff… But there is still a lot of electro, core, trance.
Are the artists predominantly American or is it well distributed globally?
Aurélien: For the moment it’s mostly American. All the famous artists who supported the basic project like deadmau5, the main featured artist of the platform, or Skrillex, are American.
Do you think Audius can make apps like Spotify obsolete?
Romain: I think so. SoundCloud can go out of business tomorrow. Already you have to pay to upload a sound on the platform, we really take the artists for puppets. YouTube has an interest in making a cheaper premium offer, as does Spotify and the company. For me it’s over, I even want to delete my SoundCloud profile. I’m saving YouTube for the clips for now because I don’t have much of a choice.
Aurélien: I think Audius’ direct competitor is not Spotify but SoundCloud. The point of Spotify is really not to emerging artists, which is the case with SoundCloud. It’s not about discovery, it’s mostly about listening to what you already know. It’s a different service.
How do you explain that the application is not better known?
Aurélien: I’m sure it will be, but it takes time, it’s the curve it takes. I think the electronic music/cryptocurrency combo right now is for people who are a bit geeky.
What are the main areas for improvement in the application according to you?
Romain: You can’t download a sound on the phone, nor share everything as you would like. It lacks a bit of setting.
Aurélien: The downside is that there are a lot of artists that cannot be found on Audius yet. But it is also in the construction of the app, in its identity. There is no video part either. But you have to remember that this is a very recent project, it’s six months old, so that’s okay.
Romain: And then they still have a huge margin for improvement. Just the AUDIO price is not going to stop growing like this.
The final word?
Aurélien: We are very happy because we had very good results in a very short time. It’s a bit like the app, and it sounds like dirt. It allows people to pay the artists they listen to without spending too much, it’s good for everyone!
Romain: We have two / three sounds in preparation. We’re going to post a sound in a few days, and we have some stuff coming up. We usually leave a sound for a week on Audius before sharing it on YouTube, to encourage people to migrate to this platform.