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LimeWire, which unveiled its own Algorand-based marketplace in March, revealed recently that it had secured big label Universal Music Group for its platform, only days after news emerged that Napster would return as an NFT marketplace on Algorand.

Universal Music collectibles

Artists signed to Universal Music Group and its many imprint labels will be able to distribute tokenized digital collectibles through the future LimeWire marketplace under the terms of the global arrangement. Interscope Records, Def Jam Records, Motown Records, Geffen, Republic Records, EMI, Virgin Music, and other Universal labels are among the company’s subsidiaries.

Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, The Rolling Stones, U2, BTS, Chris Stapleton, The Weeknd, Abba, and Elton John are among the huge artists represented by Universal Music Group. The agreement announced today does not guarantee that any of those artists will distribute NFTs via LimeWire, but they will reportedly have the option to do so.

LimeWire will be resurrected as an NFT marketplace that will first focus on music-related assets, such as music or artists’ artwork and collectibles. Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, serial digital entrepreneurs, purchased the inactive peer-to-peer music sharing service last year and revealed their Web3 intentions in March.

LimeWire announced in April that it had received $10.4 million in a token sale headed by Kraken Ventures, Arrington Capital, and GSR, with involvement from additional organizations like Crypto.com Capital and artist Deadmau5’s 720Mau5 fund.

LimeWire plans to start its “official launch campaign” later this month and then open the marketplace shortly after, according to the token sale statement. An NFT serves as proof of ownership for digital items such as digital artwork, audio files, collectibles, and more.

Algorand is a proof-of-stake blockchain network that has been positioned as a competitor to Ethereum, the dominant platform for NFTs and decentralized apps. Algorand and Web3 investment company Hivemind revealed last week that they had bought Napster, a streaming (and formerly peer-to-peer) music service brand, with ambitions to establish a Web3 music platform.

Coming back with a vengeance

This isn’t Universal’s first attempt into the Web3 arena. Last November, the label announced the debut of Kingship, a Gorillaz-inspired virtual band built on a series of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. In addition to performing in metaverse locations, the band will sell its own NFTs. In January, Warner Music Group announced a collaboration with metaverse game The Sandbox. The label, which represents musicians such as Lizzo and Ed Sheeran, plans to create virtual land in The Sandbox’s game environment and stage concerts there.

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