How NFTs are bringing old music download platforms back to life
© Reuters. Napster and LimeWire Revival: How NFTs are bringing old music download platforms back to life
Former music download platform Napster is the latest to throw its hat into web3 and the non-fungible token ring. Napster and LimeWire are two brands from the early 2000s that allowed pioneers to download songs for free that are relaunched in businesses helping artists monetize themselves.
What happened: Peer-to-peer music sharing company Napster was bought with the intention of turning the company into an NFT music brand, according to a report by The Verge.
Napster was purchased by crypto investment firm Hivemind and Algorand, the operator of a decentralized blockchain and the company behind the coin Algorand (CRYPTO:ALGO). The Alogrand blockchain will be used for the launch of Napster.
Hivemind’s managing partner, Matt Zhang, shared in a LinkedIn post that the acquisition comes as “volatile market and uncertain times often present exciting opportunities.”
G20 Ventures partner Mike Troiano also explained 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, carbon-negative blockchain to unlock new new ways for people who make and love music to connect, share and enjoy together,” Troiano said.
The news of Napster joining the web3 and NFT space in the music business follows LimeWire, which announced an entry into the space earlier this year.
Related Link: How to Buy NFTs
Why it matters: Troiano shared the story of a $16 CD, with only 16% going to the artist and the rest split between the record company, manufacturer and retailer. Napster fought the system by offering its 80 million users the ability to download music for free – until it was shut down.
Years later, music download services from Amazon.com Inc (:NASDAQ:) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:) offered better options for downloading music like buying a track at instead of an entire album. Streaming services like Spotify Technology (NYSE: SPOT) and others allow users to listen to songs with a cut in revenue going to artists.
Troiano says music labels get 50% of streaming revenue and only about 7% goes to the musicians themselves.
“Napster is already at the forefront when it comes to doing better for artists, offering the highest payouts of any streaming service.”
Universal Music Group (AS:) signed on to join the LimeWire Algorand marketplace this week. Universal has a strong roster of some of the biggest artists in the world. The deal will allow artists to sell NFTS on LimeWire’s upcoming music blockchain platform.
The LimeWire NFT marketplace will focus on assets such as artwork and musician collectibles. LimeWire investors include Kraken, Crypto.com and others with Web3 experience.
Once considered dead brands, Napster and LimeWire could quickly become major players in the web3 music space, ready to be disrupted.
It’s hard to look past the irony of two companies that once took potential profits from musicians as the ones that might ultimately be most useful in helping musicians monetize themselves in the future.
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