LimeWire’s return paves the way for the rise of Web3 music streaming


With the return of LimeWire, the creative landscape may finally be on the right path to minimizing piracy and intellectual property theft, as new native Web3 music streaming platforms unfold to their respective communities.

In March, the infamous peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing platform Limewire announced that it would return, but this time in the form of an NFT marketplace.

On March 9, LimeWire relaunched its website, sharing its mission to revitalize its image for a new generation. With a powerful advisory board, LimeWire brings together music industry veterans Tareef Michael (Wu-Tang Clan manager), former Def Jam A&R Pedro Genao and HER manager Jeanine McLean-Williams, among others.

LimeWire’s initial demise

Originally launched in 2000 by Mark Gorton, LimeWire has grown in popularity, gaining a reputation for playing a major role in pirating music files and movies.

Ten years later, a judge ruled on the numerous copyright infringement claims the platform faced, leading to LimeWire’s ultimate demise in October 2011 and a $105 million out-of-court settlement. dollars between Gorton and a voluminous list of major record labels, including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

According to research by NPD, the disappearance of LimeWire reduced piracy from a peak of 16% in late 2007 to 9% in late 2010. Specifically, the average number of music files downloaded from other P2P networks after closing LimeWire. , fell from 35 titles per person in the fourth quarter of 2007 to just 18 titles in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In May 2022, Austrian entrepreneurial brothers Julian and Paul Zehetmayr purchased the intellectual property of LimeWire with funds from their previous startups.

With a new team and advisory board, LimeWire aims to be a frontrunner in the NFT boom, putting its pirating days behind it and serving as a platform to help provide exposure for up-and-coming artists and creators.

Migrate streaming revenue to the channel

Photo courtesy of MYX/ETHDenver

In February, be[In]Crypto sat down in ETHDenver with the pioneering Web3 music platform, Myx, which allows native Web3 artists to take control of their music distribution, while avoiding many of the pitfalls Web2 platforms have left behind. , including the ongoing battle against piracy.

The company believes that Web3 serves as a way out of hacking through the decentralized file storage system IPFS.

“Audio files can finally be encrypted and stored securely on a network of nodes,” a Myx executive told Be[In]Crypto. “At present, it is the most advanced way to secure your files on music platforms.”

The company referred to platforms like Audius, which are still plagued by hacks:

“Many artists who have joined our platform since early February have expressed disgust with Audius because the platform advertises that they pay artists for streaming, but in reality, that’s not the case. Royal, from a other side, does something very similar to us, except that Royal artists take fan investment while sharing streaming revenue from Web2 platforms.

Artist Dashboard on MYX

However, the mechanics by which many platforms boast are “extremely opaque”, according to the exec, where teams seek to build a streaming platform where streaming revenue is all on-chain, for all investors to see and see. trust. ”

During our conversation, Myx referenced a particular moment in George Orwell’s 1984 novel, where Winston thought of O’Brien, someone he had never spoken to, but remembered from a dream that he had done where O’Brien had told him they would meet “in the place where there is no darkness.

Adopting this same ethos, Myx aims to connect with like-minded artists “who have stood the test of rotten platforms and legalities that have maintained an awakening of simmering talent wanting to follow their passion under the hood of” just a hobby “.”

Although the platform is currently available in its soft launch phase, it plans to go public in the second quarter of this year. It currently has over 200 artists, most of whom are considered the first native local Web3 artists, including Harrison Fir$t, Dyln, and fifirong.

Through the platform’s Pods feature, fans can invest and earn alongside their favorite artists, allowing multiple music owners to collaborate and earn together on the economy and governance of that music. For example, all tracks in a pod, when served on Myx, generate revenue, so all owners of the pod token (media fractions) receive revenue proportional to their pod ownership.

Binance Smart Chain’s First Music Streaming Platform

Another platform, ROCKI, which had a presence at NFT LA, launched in late 2020 by Swedish DJ and industry veteran, Bjorn Niclas, has pioneered music NFTs, providing both NFT royalty and music NFT in the form of limited-edition collectible songs, speaking to notions similar to what Aoki preached after his February statement.

“It’s truly remarkable proof of where music is headed, and Web3 seems like the hopeful solution,” Niclas told Be[In]Crypto at NFT LA.

By the end of March, ROCKI artists had created and sold more than 2,000 musical NFTs on the platform, Niclas said.

Many of these artists, according to Niclas, claimed to have earned more revenue from an NFT music release than their entire annual salary from the major streaming services they are involved with, combined.

In 2020, Israeli DJ and producer Guy J sold 50% royalty rights for his exclusive track “Cotton Eyes” on ROCKI, for 40 ETH (worth then $24,000) following the NFT auction.

Since its debut in 2020, the platform has seen over 30,000 tracks uploaded by several thousand independent artists. In April 2021, ROCKI announced its partnership with Binance Smart Chain, becoming the industry’s first music platform on BSC.

Due to BSC’s scalability, low transaction costs and development support, Niclas emphasized the importance of the partnership not only to help maintain an artist-friendly streaming platform, but also to build a music industry “more viable, robust and sustainable”.

“We see huge potential in Web3 and the metaverse, and we are currently discussing a few metaverse projects to integrate our blockchain music streaming service ROCKI and our music NFTs, making them playable and streamable in their metaverse worlds,” said revealed Nicholas. .

With the mass departure of artists from Spotify in February following the Joe Rogan controversy, it is up to independent streaming platforms to take up arms and provide shelter for those who wish to continue streaming their music on their terms. rather than guards. To date, artists such as Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, among others, have already left the platform.

“As we see more and more artists leaving Spotify and the major record labels and their overly complicated and extended record deals to go independent and be able to have their own creative freedom, we believe that NFT music and music streaming on-chain with tokenized rewards tied into payment streams, is the next frontier that is already taking shape and leading the way.

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