Audius Selects Solana to scale community-owned music streaming

Audius Selects Solana to scale community-owned music streaming

5 min

Alongside the $AUDIO mainnet launch, Audius has broken records across virtually all protocol metrics. From reaching 800k monthly active users (a 30% increase month-over-month) to a 33% increase in tracks with more than 30,000 uploads in four days, this has been an explosive period of growth for the platform. Audius is shaping up for the next chapter in crossing the chasm to reach an even larger audience of artists and fans.

To meet this growing demand, the Audius team specced or built proofs of concept with over 20 L1 and L2 scaling solutions. After this research, Audius has selected Solana — a high performance L1 blockchain capable of 50,000 transactions per second with costs as low as $0.00001 per interaction — to help scale the network.

Over the course of the next year, Audius plans to migrate the Audius content management system (CMS) to the Solana blockchain from its current home on POA network.

We’re excited to add Solana to the growing list of technologies consumed by Audius — serving our goal to always utilize the best tools that exist to meet the network’s growing needs. The allegiance of Audius rests with the Audius community and will always do what’s best to offer a user experience that rivals and improves upon web2 incumbents. Please note that the $AUDIO platform token, governance, and staking systems will remain on Ethereum for the foreseeable future. If you are integrating with the $AUDIO token or these subsystems in any capacity, there is no change required.

Why Migrate?

As Audius continues to experience growing demand to stream audio content, it faces scaling challenges unique to many web3 applications today.Over this past weekend, the client had to warn users of heavy load issues, often resulting in longer wait times searching, streaming, and indexing our growing catalog of nearly 150k tracks at the time of writing. Much of this has been caused by bottlenecks at the L1 level.

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Up until this point, Audius has leveraged POA Network as a means of offering higher throughput and lower latency than the Ethereum mainnet. However, Audius has at times consumed 90–95% of block space on POA network, peaking at an all-time-high in network usage this weekend with our mainnet launch.While the POA team has been very supportive of our journey to date, it’s time to gear up for the next chapter of Audius, one which is virtually uncapped in its ability to handle our growing usage.

Why Solana?

Simply put, Solana is:

  • Cheap: Offering around 1M transactions for $10.
  • Fast: Block times are 400ms, with confirmations often under 1 second.
  • Live: Mainnet has been live for nearly 8 months and processed nearly 5B transactions.
  • Decentralized: With over 180 nodes on mainnet, and over 500 on testnet.

Given our need to utilize a high-performance blockchain today, Solana’s growing set of 182 validators (as of this writing) combined with a battle-tested architecture gives our community the confidence that Audius’s catalog can scale at ease, a crucial component of our path to mainstream adoption.

The easiest way to visualize our excitement is through Solana’s Break app — allowing users to simulate spamming the network with transactions by pressing any key.

While a global content ledger will need to handle more than one person’s ability to mash buttons, this is a strong demonstration of the foundation Solana has created for something like a scalable content management system.

What’s To Know?

The Audius content management system (CMS) is migrating to a blockchain optimized for speed and cost-efficiency. To our growing list of node operators, there are no changes required to content storage, discovery, or $AUDIO staking/governance. There are no major architectural changes expected as part of this migration.The migration of the Audius CMS to Solana will take place over the course of three phases, set to roll into the middle of 2021.

  • Phase One — Audius listen tracking to be migrated by the end of 2020.
  • Phase Two — Audius content ledger rewrite and auditing to be tested in Q1 2021.
  • Phase Three — Full migration expected in Q2 2021.

Expect updates throughout this process on all the above milestones. Listen tracking is expected to be done as soon as the beginning of December.