Roneil Rumburg, Co-Founder and CEO of Audius, discusses Audius, users owned platforms and Web3, the creator economy, the applications of IPFS, Bitcoin’s role in the global monetary system, and much more
My guest today is Roneil Rumburg, Co-Founder and CEO of Audius. Audius is the first decentralized, community-owned, and artist controlled music-sharing platform designed to help up-and-coming artists publish their work and connect directly with fans. Created by a platinum-selling pop artist and tech entrepreneur, Audius provides a blockchain-based alternative to SoundCloud to help artists connect directly with fans and monetize their work. The Audius protocol will live forever, owned and operated by a fully decentralized community of artists, developers and listeners collaborating to defend the world’s music. Prior to founding Audius, Roneil most recently co-founded Kleiner Perkins’ early-stage seed fund. At KP, he was responsible for seed investments into Blockchain and AI companies, including Lightning Labs. Roneil attended Stanford University and previously co-founded a Bitcoin peer to peer payment company called Backslash. He’s also held software engineering roles at a number of venture-backed Silicon Valley companies. This was one of my favorite discussions I’ve had recently. Roneil has a wealth of knowledge about everything from Web3 to software infrastructure to Bitcoin. If you’re interested in the creator economy and the future of Web3 do yourself a favor and listen to this discussion. A few of the high level topics we discussed included Audius, the creator economy and Web3, the applications of IPFS, Bitcoin’s role in the global monetary system, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing Audius. We discuss how Audius is disrupting the music industry by giving creators the ability to control their relationship with their fans and enabling artists to capture a larger portion of the value they create. We discuss the problems with the current relationship between the traditional music industry and artists. Another major discussion topic of our conversation is how Audius is enabling artists to experiment, for example by hardcoding certain parameters to be able to listen to a track. We also touch on how platforms like Audius will allow for more granular data so that artists and creators can have a deeper understanding of their audience that was not possible with the traditional tech stack currently available. We transition the topic of the conversation to discuss how Audius is striving to be as decentralized as possible and why that is a core principle for Audius. Roneil does an excellent job at explaining the value proposition of decentralized platforms and why having decentralized systems is vital to create a more inclusive world. Our conversation transitions to discuss the technology of IPFS and why IPFS is so revolutionary. Roneil discusses the differences between audio and video at a technical level and the different kinds of applications he envisions utilizing IPFS. We also discuss Bitcoin and its role within the broader global monetary landscape. We discuss why Bitcoin’s stability is so important to the integrity of crypto. Roneil eloquently explains why Bitcoin is the perfect hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty. The last major discussion topic of our conversation was the possible future impact of Web3 on the creator economy and how Audius is building tools to help onboard non-crypto native participants. Roneil stresses the importance of providing a suite of different services depending on the sophistication of the user and as the user becomes more adept at navigating the Web3 landscape the platform suggests different tools to the user. We also discuss how Web3 will strengthen the connection between the creator and fan. Roneil does an excellent job at elaborating the possible second order consequences of this stronger connection. Please enjoy my conversation with Roneil Rumburg.
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