LimeWire announced striking its first major music label partnership with the world leader in music and entertainment, Universal Music Group. It looks like digital music sharing services are coming back in the form of Web3.
The global deal will allow artists signed with UMG to release NFT collectibles via the upcoming LimeWire marketplace. In fact, it also includes artists signed with Universal's imprints such as Interscope Records, Geffen, Republic Records, EMI, and others. Musicians can offer artworks, recordings, bonus tracks, uncut or backstage content, etc.
In March, LimeWire announced relaunching as an art and entertainment NFT marketplace that will initially focus on music-related assets. In fact, it can either be actual music or things like artwork and collectibles from musicians.
In April, LimeWire revealed raising $10.4 million in a private sale of its LMWR tokens. Furthermore, the token sale was led by large VCs such as Kraken Ventures, Arrington Capital, and GSR. In addition, the token sale also saw participation from Crypto.com, Deadmau5's 720Mau5 venture fund, DAO Jones, and Steve Aoki.
Reportedly, LimeWire plans to start its "official launch campaign" later this month, followed by opening up the marketplace.
"We see this partnership as a true demonstration of the pace at which the music industry is embracing Web3," stated LimeWire Co-CEOs Paul and Julian Zehetmayr. "We're thrilled to open up the LimeWire NFT ecosystem to Universal Music Group artists and fans and can't wait to see the first creative projects being launched on the marketplace."
Meanwhile, LimeWire plans to launch its NFT marketplace on the Algorand blockchain. In brief, Algorand is a leading proof-of-stake blockchain network for NFTs and decentralized applications.
Days before LimeWire's NFT marketplace announcement, news broke of Napster returning as an NFT marketplace on Algorand. Furthermore, Algorand and Web3 investment firm Hivemind announced acquiring Napster, with plans to launch a Web3 music platform.
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Moreover, this isn't Universal Music Group's first move into the Web3 space. Last November, UMG's 10:22PM label announced the launch of a virtual band, Kingship. Furthermore, the Gorillaz-inspired virtual band is based on the Bored Ape Yacht Club. In fact, Kingship recently hired a Bored Ape manager.
Its other partners in the Web3 space include Curio, which aims to bring NFT fan tokens for celebrities. Also, UMG has recently partnered with American music and entertainment company Billboard to launch the Flow-based ChartStars NFT collection.
Meanwhile, UMG rival Warner Music Group signed a partnership with The Sandbox in January. The label houses artists like Lizzo and Ed Sheeran. Furthermore, it plans to develop land in The Sandbox metaverse and host concerts within the virtual world.