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Watch > Episode > Roneil Rumburg - Music And The Metaverse: How Decentralised Streaming Gives Power Back To The Artists

Roneil Rumburg - Music And The Metaverse: How Decentralised Streaming Gives Power Back To The Artists


CEO of Audius

We are living in a transformative time, as ideas of digitising ownership and decentralisation are expanding into all manner of sectors.

It is during these periods that the most successful innovators and entrepreneurs seek out new opportunities and look to improve offerings, industries and the lives of wider communities.

For the last ten years on London Real, I’ve been privileged to spend time with some of the most influential and insightful people on the planet, a journey that has led to where we find ourselves today: right at the centre of the cryptocurrency and Decentralised Finance space.

And I’ve been blown away by the innovation I’ve seen. Things that took Wall Street ten years to develop have been happening in ten months or less. The rate of growth is unbelievable and is only increasing, which is why I’m determined to bring as many of you as possible to the table because believe me this is a massive opportunity for everyone.

Today’s guest is, in many ways, testimony to just how far the Blockchain, cryptocurrency and DeFi space has developed in the last few years. Roneil Rumburg is a former software engineer and the co-founder and CEO of Audius, an artist-controlled and community-owned music streaming platform, that is emerging as another hugely successful blockchain use case.

Roneil is a music lover at heart, and coupled with his technology background that includes numerous positions as a software engineer before co-founding Backslash, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin payment company and most recently co-founding Kleiner Perkins, an early-stage seed fund, it is little surprise that he has taken that experience into this burgeoning sector.

Back in 2013, while he was studying for his computer engineering degree at Stanford, Roneil and his friends first explored the potential of digital currencies. During this time he met future Audius co-founder, Forrest Browning and together they conceived the prospect of a decentralised streaming platform or more specifically a community-owned and community-operated version of SoundCloud, however, the technology didn’t exist at the time to fulfil that early ambition.

The ambition to help artists connect directly with their fans and distribute music to them utilising the power of cryptocurrency persisted. Fast forward to today and Audius operates as a fully decentralised, open-source community of artists, that is based on both the Ethereum and Solana blockchains and has grown from 500,000 monthly listeners at the end of 2020 to over 7 million today.

The number of artists on the platform has tripled to over 200,000 and it now plays host to over 600,000 tracks. It is a remarkable achievement but Roneil and his team show no signs of letting up and the path to 100 million users is firmly underway, an achievement that will mark Audius down as a breakthrough use case on the blockchain.

Roneil’s aim is to challenge the established mainstream platforms such as Spotify and to monetise Audius which will in his words “put more money and financial tools into the artists’ hands.” Their pioneering approach to revolutionising the music industry and bravery in making bold decisions has led to a raft of artists adopting the platform. From Diplo and Deadmau5 to Skrillex adding a unique collaboration with TikTok, where Audius is powering the social media giants music library, is a sure sign of a mainstream breakthrough.

Roneil is a smart guy and a savvy operator and I believe you’ll be impressed with his story and vision for a future that aims to ensure artists have full control of not just their brand but how they connect and share their stories with fans.

More broadly, I believe that DeFi and blockchain will completely revolutionise the way we as consumers understand and interact with our money. It is a chance to create Financial Freedom and be a part of something, to engineer a better and more inclusive future for billions of people around the world.

This is why my team and I have decided to go “ALL IN” on Decentralised Finance and my Crypto & DeFi Academy is where I plan on spending the next 10 years teaching, understanding, broadcasting, educating, investing in, profiting from and transforming this exciting new marketplace.

I’m looking for partners, collaborators, and colleagues who want to join forces with us and create real value and generational wealth. It is an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Find out more about our Crypto & DeFi Academy and apply today to be part of the future of finance.

Download clips

A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!

  1. The concept behind Audius
  2. A new way of making money for artists
  3. The economics behind Audius
  4. Audius vs Soundcloud
  5. The community around Audius made this growth possible
  6. Every artist is on a level playing field at Audius
  7. Decentralised streaming is the future
  8. How does censorship work on Audius?
  9. Audius’ deal with TikTok
  10. Why Audius uses Solana?
  11. Audio NFTs as a new form of audio distribution
  12. Record labels 3.0
  13. Audius vs traditional record labels
  14. There’s a mainstream acceptance of crypto


00:00 | Trailer.
02:43 | Brian’s introduction.
03:41 | Roneil Rumberg explains what Audius aims to do to benefit creative music artists.
10:16 | How Audius differs to a record label and a streaming service.
13:29 | Artists are realising the financial benefit of focusing on the few not the many.
16:17 | How many fans does an artist need to form a number of true fans with marketing potential to make a good living.
18:17 | How to use Audius, and how that differs from SoundCloud.
26:00 | The paradigm shift for venture capitalists to break from having control where the profits were, to open sourcing and letting the chips fall where they may.
30:16 | Roneil Rumberg explains the Audius token, its importance and what artists and consumers can do with it.
44:17 | A fascinating insight into the human experience and how we co-exist, with no power structure, the utopia of the Blockchain.
47:53 | Roneil’s thoughts on censorship.
55:17 | Audius also supports podcasts.
58:56 | The TikTok deal with Audius.
1:04:14 | Gas fees and transaction costs, and what using Solana offers.
1:12:27 | Roneil‘s thoughts on NFTs and particularly their use to the Audius community.
1:20:36 | Is signing big name artists to Audius of the same importance as it was for record labels?
1:29:48 | The goals for the Audius community going forward and his goals for Audius.
1:39:53 | How to get involved with Audius as a listener, a developer or artist.
1:40:57 | Is there a chance of a video version of Audius?
1:42:55 | Brian’s summing up.


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