Web3 music streaming has a long way to go before competing with Spotify
Web3 or NFT music streaming services use blockchain technology to connect music listeners to their favorite music and offer special incentives and rewards to creators and consumers.
In addition, these platforms aim to provide a more transparent and equitable alternative to traditional music streaming services, giving artists more control over their tracks and how they are compensated.
Audius Leads Web3 Music Streaming - Doesn't Pay Creators
One example of a Web3 music platform is Audius, which was launched towards the end of 2019 to become the go-to Web3 streaming and sharing platform by empowering content creators and competing with the likes of Spotify.
The platform is a decentralized music streaming protocol built on public blockchain infrastructure, allowing artists to have better insights into who is streaming their music and more control over their tracks and distribution. In addition, it is free for artists to use and does not take a cut of their revenue.
Audius has a token economy powered by the Audius platform token ($AUDIO). It also has a decentralized storage solution and ledger for sharing audio and metadata, a track encryption scheme paired with a programmable mechanism to unlock user-specific proxy re-encryption keys for content, and a discovery protocol for users to efficiently query metadata.
It also has a decentralized governance protocol whereby artists, node operators, and fans are all involved in decision-making about protocol changes and upgrades.
Theoretically, the Audius platform will deploy a rewards system that pays artists in $AUDIO. However, it is yet to be deployed as of the writing of this article. Creating an account on the platform is free, and artists can start uploading their music immediately.
While Audius does not allow artists to mint music NFTs, it is a popular place for the Web3 and NFT communities to listen to music.
Issues Arise as Emanate Leads Web3 Music Streaming on EOS
Another example of a Web3 music platform is Emanate, built on EOS and uses its $EMT token for payments. The $EMT token is run on the EOS mainnet, and anyone can track payments via EOS mainnet block explorers like Bloks.io and EOSX.io. Emanate pays artists in its native token per stream, unlike Audius, which has not deployed their rewards token.
Emanate also has a service called Emanate Distro, which allows artists to upload their music on Emanate and then push it to other platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud. All revenue from these streams flows back into the Emanate ecosystem, where all revenue and payments can be tracked. The Emanate team hopes to eventually depreciate Emanate Distro in favor of artists having total control via the Emanate platform.
Still, it recognizes that it will take time for the transition to Web3 streaming services to take off and that it is currently impossible to immediately cut out existing middlemen. As such, they offer Emanate Distro as a transitional service.
In addition to these core features, Emanate also plans to provide a wide range of services to artists and labels. Any artist or music lover can currently sign up for an Emanate profile. Emanate also has the Emanate Music Lovers group, which is a monthly subscription service that costs $6 per month, with $5 of every subscription going to the artists.
Wrap It Up - The Need for Web3 Streaming Platforms
Overall, Web3 music streaming platforms like Audius and Emanate offer a more transparent and theoretically equitable alternative to traditional music streaming services, giving artists more control over their tracks and how they are distributed, however neither platform has reached a tipping point of competing with platforms such as Spotify.
Such streaming platforms also offer special incentives and rewards to creators and consumers, such as earning cryptocurrency and accessing exclusive content.
As the use of blockchain technology in the music industry continues to grow, more Web3 music streaming platforms will likely emerge, offering even more options for artists and listeners.