Since launching $AUDIO in October, Audius has experienced steady growth as it continues to lead the charge as one of the most used web3 applications today.
With nearly 2M monthly active users (MAUs) touching Audius every month, it is paramount that Audius community members feel well equipped to understand the growing importance of an artist-owned streaming protocol.
This article looks to shed light on general strategies for $AUDIO in the coming months, giving the crypto community a glance of what it means to build with mainstream users in mind.
Refresher on $AUDIO
The Audius platform token ($AUDIO) is used in three core ways:
- Security - Stake $AUDIO to run nodes that secure the network.
- Feature Access - Hold $AUDIO to unlock features and exclusive content.
- Governance - Use $AUDIO to vote and propose protocol changes
Today, ~150M $AUDIO is currently being staked or delegated to secure the network. Security is the single most important aspect of Audius, and this growing network of node operators is rewarded with 7% annual issuance for providing such a valuable service. More details on how staking here.
Now that the foundation is in place, it’s time for the Audius community to get creative about how Audius artists and listeners will engage with $AUDIO in a meaningful way.
For anyone who’s seen a blue check mark floating around Instagram or Twitter, it's easy to understand that something with no tangible utility can go a long way in the brand legitimacy of the owner.
In fact, the most highly requested feature for Audius was Instagram verification, allowing artists to verify their account if they connected to a verified Instagram account.
While this is a great start, what better way to lean into this ethos than by using $AUDIO tokens as a proxy for social standing on the platform.
Pulling from the recent movement around social tokens, the Audius community could access tiers that offer both social and feature benefits to users. This would include different tiers slotted at different levels of $AUDIO holdings.
Each tier could unlock a unique aesthetic boost to the user's profile, allowing artists to stand out among the crowd in a web3 native fashion. These holdings can then correlate to different features on the platform itself.
It's likely that these tiers would also map to different roles in the $AUDIOphile Discord, offering artists different ways to share tracks, thoughts and ideas with other community members they know have an equal degree of skin in the game.
Once the benchmark for social features is established, it’s important that the network seed it’s adopters with tokens to try for themselves.
Unlike the genesis AUDIOdrop - a one-time, fixed distribution - Audius needs a more scalable, on-chain way to reward users for familiar tasks like uploading content, hitting milestones and referring reputable users.
The goal of $AUDIO rewards is to get more tokens into the hands of those actively creating value in the network, and these programs do exactly that.
As a project very conscious of bounty farmers, the community should structure these campaigns such that users need to accumulate a minimum balance to claim these rewards, possibly with easy on-chain staking onramps and other mechanisms to encourage $AUDIO to be used within the Audius ecosystem.
The Audius community may propose and vote on certain smart contract updates that ensure real humans, not bots, are participating in the $AUDIO Rewards program. This could include an on-chain “gatekeeping” function that requires a user to go through some form of verification to prove they are a real human before any $AUDIO is earned.
This community-driven process is expected to mold into the existing “claim” flow used for the genesis AUDIOdrop, giving power users a means of earning additional tokens as the network establishes autonomous ways to distribute tokens over time.
Recap on how users claimed $AUDIO from the AUDIOdrop.
At its core, community-driven $AUDIO incentives are expected to be a huge catalyst for the platform’s growth, and one that our artist’s have long been requesting following the initial distribution.
Over time, we envision that the community will adopt network updates that build towards ways to reward users for their ongoing value creation, measured as a combination of streams, playlists, followers and feature testing.
The Audius platform was designed, and continues to be transformed by the community, such that the top curators and API providers are eligible to share in fixed on-chain allocations each month, best highlighted by some of the content and features shared on the Audius blog.
The Audius community is likely to explore programs that reward this behavior, similar to the programs described above with a recurring cadence for top performers on the network.
The Path Forward
Audius is building in a class of its own.
The users interacting with Audius every day have largely never touched crypto before, and it's our collective responsibility to empower creatives to leverage web3 to their benefit.
The combination of a platform that combines the best elements of DeFi, governance, and social creates an exciting playing field for incentives and integrations that position Audius well to be a leader in the consumer-facing web3 narrative.
It's important to emphasize the blueprint presented in this post is exactly that - a blueprint. These ideas and specifics are likely to change over time. Audius was built by and for it’s community and it’s crucial that the community play a growing role in the shaping of this model, and the changes that come about with it.
For those interested in contributing to the conversation, join us on Discord and let your voice be heard!
We look forward to an exciting year and look forward to a game changing year for web3 as a whole.