Audius — a free-to-use streaming platform built on blockchain technology — is coming in swinging to compete with Apple Music, Spotify and TIDAL.

According to Rolling Stone, on Sept.16, the platform announced a $5 million round of strategic funding with investments from artists, such as businessmen Nas and Pusha T.

“I believe [blockchains] might be the most important technology to ever hit the music industry,” Nas said in a statement. “Everyone who uploads to Audius can be an owner. You can’t say that about any other platform.”

It’s known knowledge that artists’ pockets barely rely on the slow and minimal income from streams — but Audius is on a mission to change this misfortune. With the platform, artists will get paid promptly. Rolling Stone reports that with Audius, “90% of earnings move in real time — with 10% going to the community that makes the system run.”

“The blockchain is enabling entirely new revenue streams for artists and creators, like NFTs, social currency, and curation,” former Sony/ATV Music Publishing CEO Martin Bandier said. “Audius is not only using the blockchain to add potentially significant revenue streams for artists, but it also allows them to cooperatively own the platform itself.”

While Audius competes with TIDAL, allowing for increased music ownership for artists, it seems to be carving its own lane in the music industry as a platform that prioritizes catering to them. Prior to their funding announcement, Audius struck a deal with TikTok, one that is a trailblazing partnership where artists can directly upload their music to TikTok’s Sound Kit, according to Rolling Stone. With currently over 100,000 artists on Audius, the deal breaks new ground — especially for independent artists.

The streaming platform, which launched in 2018, currently has over six million monthly users. As more heavyweight artists and music executives invest, only time will tell its trajectory in the music business.