Web3-based digital music-sharing platforms are making a comeback. LimeWire, which unveiled its own Algorand-based marketplace in March, revealed today that it has signed big label Universal Music Group to its platform, just days after rumors leaked that Napster would return in the form of an NFT marketplace on Algorand.
Artists signed to Universal Music Group and its many imprint labels will be able to distribute tokenized digital collectibles through the future LimeWire marketplace as part of the global partnership. Interscope Records, Def Jam Records, Motown Records, Geffen, Republic Records, EMI, and Virgin Music, are among Universal’s imprints.
Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, The Rolling Stones, U2, BTS, Chris Stapleton, Dalida, The Weeknd, ABBA, and Elton John are among the huge acts on the Universal Music Group portfolio. The agreement does not guarantee that any of those artists will release NFTs on LimeWire, but they will have the option to do so.
LimeWire will be resurrected as an NFT marketplace that will initially focus on music-related assets, such as music, artwork, and collectibles from musicians. Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, serial digital entrepreneurs, bought the dormant peer-to-peer music sharing site last year and announced their Web3 plans in March.
LimeWire announced in April that it has received $10.4 million in a token sale sponsored by Kraken Ventures, Arrington Capital, and GSR, with Crypto.com Capital and singer Deadmau5’s 720Mau5 fund also participating.
LimeWire wants to start its formal launch campaign later this month and then open up the marketplace soon after, according to the token sale statement. An NFT serves as proof of ownership for digital items such as digital artwork, music files, collectibles, and other items.
Algorand is a proof-of-stake blockchain network touted as a competitor to Ethereum, the most popular platform for NFTs and decentralized apps. Algorand and Hivemind, a Web3 investment business, announced last week that they had bought Napster, a streaming (and formerly peer-to-peer) music service with intentions to develop a Web3 music platform.
Universal isn’t making its first foray into the Web3 realm. Kingship, a Gorillaz-inspired virtual band based on a series of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, was announced by UMG’s 10:22 PM label in November. The band will perform in the metaverse while also selling its own NFTs.
In January, competitor Warner Music Group announced a collaboration with metaverse game The Sandbox. The record label, which represents Madonna, Lizzo, and Ed Sheeran, will create virtual land in The Sandbox’s gaming environment and perform concerts there.