Meet SoundCloud rival Audius, free & anti-takedowns

“It was SoundCloud’s opportunity to lose and now it’s ours” says Audius CEO Roneil Rumberg. Plenty of musicians and fans are sick of SoundCloud’s expensive hosting costs, haphazard content takedowns, and lagging user experience as the site’s status withers. Audius wants to be the opposite, and offer a new home for artists where they’ll eventually earn 90% of revenue earned and the startup itself can’t remove songs.

Today Audius launches its music streaming and free hosting service backed by DJs like Deadmau5 and Zed’s Dead, plus $5.5 million in A-list venture capital. Music makers can upload their songs at no cost, and users can browse, follow, and get listening recommendations. The catalog is small to start with just a few hundred artists, but Audius has big plans for how to lure artists choosing between other SoundCloud alternatives from Mixcloud to YouTube.

The secret sauce is that Audius isn’t just a web and mobile site, it’s an open source protocol built on the blockchain, not that users need to be versed in cryptocurrency or do anything special to signup. Audius doesn’t actually host the music, but decentralizes it across independently operated nodes, which it believes will protect it

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