Audius, a decentralized music streaming service with big user numbers for a Web 3.0 project, has launched a non-fungible token (NFT) showcase feature for its resident artists.
Disclosed to CoinDesk Thursday, the new feature lets artists showcase their NFT merch in a consolidated gallery, making it easy for diehard fans to peruse. The move comes at a time when acts like Kings of Leon and others are rolling out increasingly lavish collectibles for their superfans and the crypto-rich.
To enable the gallery, a user on the site has to stake 100 of the project’s native AUDIO tokens.
The service marks an ever-so-slight departure from Audius’ strategy of playing to a broad audience without banking on crypto. Though it lives atop the Ethereum blockchain as a token-governed network, its founders and backers have found success, and adoption, by keeping the message on music found nowhere else.
Nearly 160,000 listeners logged into Audius Wednesday to stream EDM mixes and underground rap tracks uploaded by the artists themselves. The platform eschews big labels but posts big numbers: 4.5 million unique users this month, according to on-chain data.
But founders told CoinDesk the new function should appeal to nocoiners.
“These are people that have no idea what’s going on from crypto perspective, but if you add in your NFTs as an artist to your artist profile, now all of a sudden your non-crypto fans can see this art, they can see these collectibles, and they can even potentially bid on them,” said Chief Product Officer Forrest Browning.
He said Audius Collectibles does not intend to act as an NFT bidding platform. Instead, it aggregates NFTs stored on SuperRare, Zora, Catalog, Foundation, OpenSea, Rarible and KnownOrigin. Artists sign transactions with their wallets to prove they own the work, but no gas is involved as the NFT never moves wallets.
Browning and CEO Roneil Rumburg said artists were asking for a way to show off their NFTs, in part because the buzzy digital collectibles offer them a potential revenue source at a time when gigs are hard to come by.
“A lot of our artists right now, for good reason, are interested in NFTs. They’re making money at a time when they desperately need money,” Rumburg said.