Napster And LimeWire Revival: How NFTs Are Bringing Former Music Download Platforms Back To Life

Zinger Key Points
  • News of Napster joining the web3 and NFT space in the music sector follows a similar announcement from LimeWire.
  • Napster fought the system by offering its 80 million users the chance to download music for free — until it was shut down.

Former music download platform Napster is the latest to throw its hat in the web3 and non-fungible token ring. Napster and LimeWire are two brands from the early 2000s that helped pioneer song downloads for free that are being revived into companies helping artists monetize themselves.

What Happened: Peer-to-peer music-sharing company Napster was bought with plans to turn the company into a NFT music brand, according to a report from The Verge.

Napster was bought by crypto investment firm Hivemind and Algorand, the operator of a decentralized blockchain and the company behind the Algorand coin ALGO/USD. The Alogrand blockchain will be used for the Napster launch.

Hivemind managing partner Matt Zhang shared in a LinkedIn post that the acquisition is being done as “volatile market and uncertain times often bring exciting opportunities.”

G20 Ventures partner Mike Troiano also shared in a Medium post why his company is investing in Napster.

“Powered by a new generation of technology but inspired by the same pirate spirit, the new Napster will combine a streaming catalog of over 42 million songs with exciting new features built on a secure, open, and carbon-negative blockchain to unlock new ways for people who make and love music to connect, share and profit together,” Troiano said.

News of Napster joining the web3 and NFT space in the music sector follows LimeWire, which announced an entry into the space earlier this year.

Related Link: How To Buy NFTs 

Why It’s Important: Troiano shared the history of a $16 CD, with only 16% going to the artist and the rest split between the record label, manufacturer and the retailer. Napster fought the system by offering its 80 million users the chance to download music for free — until it was shut down.

Years later, music download services from Amazon.com Inc AMZN and Apple Inc AAPL offered better music download options like buying one track instead of a whole album. Streaming services like Spotify Technology SPOT and other allow users the ability to listen to songs with a cut of revenue going to the artists.

Troiano points to music labels getting 50% of streaming revenue and only around 7% going to the musicians themselves.

“Napster is already out front when it comes to doing better for artists, delivering the highest payouts of any streaming service.”

Universal Music Group signed to join the LimeWire Algorand marketplace this week. Universal counts a major roster of some of the biggest artists in the world. The deal will allow artists the opportunity to sell NFTS on the upcoming music blockchain platform from LimeWire.

The LimeWire NFT marketplace will focus on assets like artwork and collectibles from musicians. Investors in LimeWire include Kraken, Crypto.com and others with web3 experience.

While once thought of as dead brands, Napster and LimeWire could quickly emerge as major players in the music web3 space, ripe for disruption.

It’s hard to look past the irony of two companies that once took potential profits away from musicians as ones that could ultimately be the most to help musicians monetize themselves in the future.

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Posted In: AlgorandBlockchainLimeWireNapsterNFTNFTsnon-fungible tokensUniversal Music GroupWeb3CryptocurrencyEntertainmentMarketsGeneral