dips / Audius music in common areas and between talks at Devcon

Audius music in common areas and between talks at Devcon

DIP 02: Audius music in common areas and between talks at Devcon

Summary of Proposal

Audius has lots of freely-licensed music. Audius is also built on Ethereum. Audius could be used at Devcon to play music during downtime.

UPDATE (8/9/2020):

After getting feedback from legal counsel, unfortunately this proposal was misguided - the licensing required to do playback in a public event is venue-dependent, not something that the artist can individually grant. Unfortunately this means that playing Audius music provided by artists who explicitly opt in to participating in our proposal here, or any music for that matter, at the conference is venue-dependent and likely not legally viable.

In light of this development, we are withdrawing this proposal. Some of the proposal contents remain below in case they are a useful reference in future, but should be read with the new context above re: the viability of what is proposed.


Audius is a digital streaming service that connects fans directly with artists and exclusive new music. To make this possible, Audius is fully decentralized: a network of community operated nodes that host content (creator nodes) and index content (discovery nodes), coordinated by Ethereum at the center, provide end users with an experience that looks and feels like a normal music player. Audius has over 80,000 tracks shared by artists across genres.

This large catalog of Ethereum-powered music would be a perfect fit for use at Devcon in common areas of the venue, in between talks in the venue rooms, and during happy hours and other evening events. Music livens the mood but many conferences have trouble finding freely licensed music for public use; Audius solves this problem, while also creating a neat opportunity to dogfood a decentralized Ethereum-powered service.

Motivation & Rationale

Typically, conferences play music at various times including: between talks, in common areas (e.g. by the food / drinks / sitting areas), and at the evening happy hours and other social events.

However, using music in this way poses a few problems: 1) most music cannot be freely rebroadcast (limiting the conference's ability to play talks on Youtube etc.) and 2) using Spotify and other music platforms in public spaces is disallowed by their terms of service without a special commercial license. Most conferences don't play music at all, or ignore these rules and use music illegally (while avoiding having music enter any recordings or broadcasts). Neither solution is optimal for obvious reasons.

This presents a unique opportunity: Audius solves a real problem for Devcon, while also being powered by the tech that is the whole point of the conference :). This proposal would be a great way to show attendees that Ethereum is more than DeFi, provide music for folks to get excited about, and keep the conference organizers from getting in trouble for playing music that shouldn't be.


We would look to have the community nominate specific tracks on Audius to be included in a Devcon playlist or set of playlists. We would then reach out to any artists included for written permission, and move ahead with any tracks that they have opted into allowing.

This playlist would be put on shuffle and played/paused when needed to create a desired ambience by the emcee of a given room and/or event coordinator in the case of an after-conference happy hour etc. There could even be multiple playlists tied to different moods or vibes.

Operational Requirements & Ownership

1. What actions are required to implement the proposal at Devcon?

It should be quite simple: solicit content to the playlists dedicated to the conference in advance (Audius team will backfill content as needed), get explicit written permission from artists who are included in the playlists, distribute these playlists to the emcees and folks driving the sound systems in larger auditoriums etc., and then make use of them during the event.

2. Who will be responsible for the proposal to be implemented effectively? (i.e. working on Day 0)

Roneil Rumburg (submitter) for coordinating playlist creation, conference coordinators for distributing playlists to the right people on sound team and other teams.

3. What other projects could this proposal be integrated with? (Bonus points for collaboration across teams :))

Livepeer for distributing conference talks online, perhaps unlock a special badge or NFT with your ticket for contributing to the playlists? Lots of things could work here!

Links & Additional Information

Check out Audius: music player and project resources