We all know about Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music; they are some of the most popular music streaming apps on the web.
But did you know that there are blockchain music streaming services? They try to avoid many of the problems associated with the mainstream providers (cough, artists’ pay).
Let’s take a closer look. Here are seven blockchain streaming platforms you can use today.
A common theme among blockchain streaming apps is a focus on indie and up-and-coming artists. They cannot afford to pay the licensing rights to the big-name musicians and bands. Audius is one such platform. Most of the musicians are unknown, though you will find some content from more well-known names—especially DJs.
The Audius app is perhaps most akin to Soundcloud; it lets musicians build a fanbase, share tracks they are working on, and publish their completed works. The app has some famous backers, including Deadmau5 and 3LAU:
“As an artist, I spend much of my time seeing around the corner to the future of the industry, and Audius is clearly the way forward. I’m thrilled to join this team.”
Audius offers 320kbps streaming and is entirely free to use. And because it uses a blockchain, developers can easily make their own DApp on the Audius protocol. Consider the difference, therefore, between Audius and Spotify. The latter enraged users when it killed third-party apps in 2014. That can never happen with Audius.
Although it’s not yet live, BitSong will offer a fairer financial deal for music creators. Not only that, the service will also pay users for listening to the music. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
But how does it work?
Well, the service will let advertisers attach their own advertisements and pay in $BTSG. When songs are played, up to 75 percent of those ad fees are shared between the artist as the listener. Both groups get paid immediately into their private wallets. The other 25 percent is split between validators, delegations, and the platform development costs.
Users will even be able to use $BTSG to buy songs directly and to give tips to their favorite artists.
The app will be available on Android and iOS. Both apps will be Chromecast-compatible.
Choon is already a fully functional blockchain streaming platform. Early indications suggest it could be the blockchain music app that the other platforms will aspire to.
The website is crisp and well-designed, music discovery is easy thanks to the Genres, Top Tracks, Top Playlists, and New Releases links in the left-hand panel, and there are already 12,000 artists using the platform. Considering the main app is still in beta, it’s all highly impressive.
Some of the most well-known artists on the platform include Darude and Tala. Reportedly, artists on Choon can earn 13 times more per play than they can on Spotify.
Unfortunately, the blockchain music start-up has suffered from some behind-the-scenes controversy. In July 2019, it deleted the accounts of several of its key artists after an ownership shakeup. The deleted accounts included jazz star, Kris T Reeder. He promptly signed for rival service, Ujo Music, less than a week later. The accounts were eventually restored.
4. Ujo Music
Ujo Music is another blockchain music business that’s trying to realign the relationship between artists and users.
For example, it digitizes artists’ music rights and metadata, allowing businesses to license tracks quickly and directly. Creators are always in complete control of their licensing agreement and can set their own prices and usage rules.
From a listener standpoint, the music streaming app is free to use (though if you want to download and own the music, you will need to pay a small fee.
On the downside, the music discovery tools are lagging behind some of the other blockchain-based music streaming apps on our list.
Musicoin was the first music streaming app to use a blockchain. It is also one of the few blockchain music apps that’s come out of beta and with ready-to-use apps in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The service has its own cryptocurrency—$MUSIC—which it uses to pay artists. Smart contracts are used to validate royalty payments and artist contracts.
For listeners, the service is free to use. And if you’re a music lover who’s fed up with the restrictions on the free version of Spotify, you’ll also be delighted to learn that the entire Musicoin platform is completely ad-free.
At the time of writing, more than eight million tracks have been streamed from the platform. The number is increasing quickly.
Resonate is a paid blockchain streaming platform. Although it’s free to create an account, you will need to top up your account with credit if you want to listen to music. Thankfully, it is not expensive, $5 will get you around 30-50 hours of playback, depending on the track lengths of the songs you listen to.
It might sound like an unusual proposition. But again, let’s compare it with services like Spotify and Apple Music. If you have a plan with those apps, how many hours of music do you listen to each month? Very few people are getting to 30+ hours. Hardly any get to 50+ hours. The pay-as-you-play model offers better value for money for most subscribers.
The last recommendation on our list is eMusic. Like most blockchain music apps, it promises to provide artists with fairer pay for their work. The app will provide payments instantaneously as soon as someone buys one of their tracks.
Music streaming is not free on eMusic. You can either buy music on a track-by-track basis, or purchase 60 tracks for $20/month, 40 tracks for $15/month, or 20 tracks for $10/month.
Because the app is selling the music, there is a greater number of well-known artists and bands on the platform. You can access music from Nina Simone, Miles Davies, Hot Chip, Buddy Holly, and many more.
Blockchain Music Is Growing
These seven blockchain music streaming apps are all great alternatives to Spotify and Apple Music, but more services are coming online all the time. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for new music streaming apps as they go live.
And if you like to learn more about blockchain’s growth in other areas, make sure you read our articles on how blockchain technology is being used in healthcare.
We earn commission if you purchase items using an affiliate link. We only recommend products we trust. See our affiliate disclosure.