LimeWire is relaunching in May as a digital collectibles marketplace for art and entertainment, initially focusing on music.
The original LimeWire file-sharing platform ceased operations more than a decade ago, following legal action by record labels.
It will now be a marketplace for artists and fans alike to create, buy and trade digital collectibles without the technical crypto requirements of the current NFT landscape.
The company aims to onboard one million users within the first year through partnerships with major artists in the music industry. Those interested can join the waitlist and be notified once the marketplace is live in May.
Music fans and collectors will be able to buy and trade a variety of music-related assets, such as limited editions, pre-release music, unreleased demos, graphical artwork, exclusive live versions, as well as digital merchandise and backstage content.
There is no crypto wallet prerequisite, and users will be able to purchase collectibles directly via credit card, and bank transfer in US dollars via payment platform Wyre.
Paul Zehetmayr, LimeWire co-CEO, said: “The biggest challenge with digital collectibles and the broader crypto market in general is that it’s really limited to a small group of savvy users. There are big players on the market already, but the entry barrier is still too big to allow for mainstream adoption. Most music fans do not own any cryptocurrency or have access to a crypto wallet, let alone understand the mechanics of collectibles on the blockchain. We want to remove all those obstacles and make it easy for people to participate, while at the same time offering an exciting platform for crypto natives.”
Julian Zehetmayr, LimeWire co-CEO, said: “In an increasingly difficult industry with streaming taking over and ownership taking a back seat, we are working to give artists full flexibility and control when it comes to their content. LimeWire will not be an alternative to streaming platforms, but rather an additional channel for artists to sell exclusive music and art directly to collectors and to engage with their most loyal community of fans.”
LimeWire is working with artists to create a range of exclusive content, from unique and premium-priced one-of-one items to collections that are attainable for larger audiences.
Tareef Michael, manager of the Wu-Tang Clan, said: “I am thrilled to join and support LimeWire as an advisor, in a truly groundbreaking time for the music industry. The concept of NFTs on the blockchain is fundamentally changing the narrative around how ownership and royalties should work in music and brings back full control to the artists.”
The LimeWire marketplace will be released in May 2022 with “a line-up of big names in the music industry” and is open for small and medium-sized artists to join the platform, according to the announcement.