Pusha T, Nas among several artists investing in new streaming service Audius

Photo via Complex | Getty Images/Johnny Nunez

For as long as music streaming platforms have existed, artists have had plenty of qualms about the pay distribution of DSPs across the board.

One of the most notable moments to demonstrate this streaming imbalance was when pop star Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify in protest of their ad-funded free music feature. Artists continue to push back against exploitation from these platforms, either seeking alternatives that offer higher return for streams, or providing their own platforms instead. JAY-Z famously invested in Tidal in the mid-2010s with large support from other major artists, having Kanye West and Lil Wayne release albums exclusively on Tidal at one point.

Now, Pusha T and Nas look to follow that same route, as they have teamed up with several other powerful artists like Katy Perry and Jason Derulo to put more money in artists’ pockets with Audius.

Audius, first established in 2018, is a budding streaming platform that utilizes blockchain to give artists more agency control over their music.

Blockchain is the same technology used for NFTs and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin — where ownership of an entity or set of data, in this case music, is controlled by the creator. This set of data is difficult to manipulate, so the power artists have over their music is strong, and with Audius, 90% of earnings go to the artists — getting paid more efficiently and immediately than other platforms.

Kudos to Nas, Pusha T and many others as they continue to work towards greater contributions for artists and their art. As Audius builds support, the future looks bright for a more diverse digital streaming market.

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