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LimeWire signs licensing deal with Universal

By | Published on Wednesday 18 May 2022


LimeWire has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music. Not a sentence you probably ever expected to read. Well, not until recently perhaps. Because, of course, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that LimeWire isn’t a defunct piece of file-sharing software anymore, instead it’s a shiny new NFT marketplace.

The global content licensing deal means, says LimeWire, that any Universal artist can now offer “audio recordings, audiovisual content, backstage footage and any artwork and images as NFTs on the LimeWire marketplace and sell them directly to fans and collectors”. So that’s nice. Although, subject to clearing any song rights not controlled by Universal, presumably.

“We see this partnership as a true demonstration of the pace at which the music industry is embracing Web3″, say 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”.

Universal’s EVP Digital Business Development & Strategy, Jonathan Dworkin, adds: “Universal Music Group has always prioritised its artists’ creativity and valued fans’ desire to engage in innovative new ways. Now, NFTs are providing an exciting vehicle to enhance this connection between artists and audiences”.

“This is why we are delighted to have partnered with LimeWire”, he goes on, “who is focused on guiding everyday users into this expansive arena, in this new era of Web3 engagement and music appreciation”.

It was announced in March that the LimeWire brand had been acquired to be slapped on top of a music-focussed NFT marketplace.

Once people have been drawn to the website by the LimeWire name (it could happen), the aim is to offer people with an interest in digital collectibles – but who possibly lack the technical expertise to know how to get on board the NFT bandwagon – with an easier way into this brave new world. You’ll just be able to buy stuff, without all the hassle of working out how to set up a crypto wallet.

The company launched with several music industry figures on its advisory board, including General Manager of Wu-Tang Clan’s Wu Music Group, Tareef Michael; former Def Jam A&R Pedro Genao; and artist managers Brett Fischer and Jeanine McLean. Scoring the Universal deal will be another boon to its credentials, although it still remains to be seen if it will actually take off.