LimeWire music sharing service is back – as an NFT market


In short

  • LimeWire, formerly a peer-to-peer music sharing service, will be relaunched as a music-centric NFT marketplace.
  • The platform is set to launch in May and plans to release its own token later this year.

A popular peer-to-peer music sharing service from the early 2000s is about to have a second act. Today the new owners of the long dormant LimeWire brand announced that it will be relaunched as NFT market, initially focused on music and related collectibles.

LimeWire will debut in May under co-CEOs Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, a pair of serial tech entrepreneurs. The brothers said Decrypt that they acquired the LimeWire brand last year with the aim of reintroducing it to a new wave of digital listeners.

“We greatly appreciate the strength and energy around the LimeWire brand and what it meant to an entire generation of people,” they said. Decrypt via email responses, “and we couldn’t be more excited to bring it back to life in the rapidly changing world of digital collectibles, music and entertainment.”

LimeWire will be operated by a brand new team with no ties to the original company, which was founded in 2000. The original service was shut down in 2010 following a legal injunction amid a series of record company legal challenges, which alleged copyright infringement against LimeWire. .

The Zehetmayrs see the relaunch as an opportunity to reshape the enduring narrative around LimeWire. Rather than allowing users to freely share songs, as the original service did, the new LimeWire seeks to help artists by allowing them to sell NFTs that represent songs, giving buyers a direct link to the musicians they they support.

Julian (left), co-CEO of LimeWire, and Paul Zehetmayr. Picture: LimeWire

“LimeWire returns as a platform for artists, not against them,” the co-CEOs said. “On LimeWire, the majority of revenue will go directly to the artist, and we will work with creators to allow complete flexibility, ownership and control over their content.”

The new LimeWire marketplace aims for accessibility to appeal to a wider audience of users. It will charge NFTs in US dollars and accept credit card payments, bank transfers, and other fiat currency payments in partnership with Wyre. LimeWire will know your client (KYC) compliance measures in place, and will not require the use of self-preserved crypto wallet.

The company has not yet confirmed what block chain network it will use, but a statement mentions that it will be cost effective, energy efficient and have fast transactions, and it will be a “blockchain major” that can link assets to Ethereum and side chain scaling solution Polygon.

LimeWire will begin with musical NFTs and related collectibles, such as digital artwork and videos, of musicians, but plans to gradually expand beyond this initial theme. The curated platform will also release its own token later this year, which has governance functionality to vote on which artists to add, in addition to providing access to exclusive content as well as reduced fees.

The firm has teased a number of partnerships with “major artists” in the music industry, but none have been announced so far. Tareef Michael, manager of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, will serve as an advisor to LimeWire.

A NFT acts as a title deed to a unique digital file. In addition to music, an NFT can represent things like digital artwork, profile pictures, video files, and interactive video game elements. The wider NFT industry has surged to $25 billion in trading volume in 2021.

Music NFTs are seen as one of the next big trends in the space, and some industry advocates believe such blockchain-backed assets can shake up the traditional music industry. Artists such as 3LAU, Nas, Kings of Leonand Snoop Dogg have released music as NFTs, and in many cases owners receive royalties when songs are streamed.

The Zehetmayrs said Decrypt that the plan with LimeWire is not to replace streaming music giants, but to give fans an alternative way to support artists and own unique recordings such as demos, samples and exclusive tracks.

“We’ve seen across the industry that there’s a hunger to take back control and ownership, and we’re here to make that happen for artists and creators,” they said. “We view NFTs as collectibles, just like vinyl, and believe the market needs a brand like LimeWire to embrace the concept of owning digital collectibles.”

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