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After returning as an NFT platform, LimeWire strikes first major label deal with Universal Music Group


LimeWire, a former file-sharing platform recently relaunched as a digital collectibles marketplace, has struck its first major label partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG).

The deal follows last month’s news that LimeWire raised USD $10.4 million in a private sale of its LMWR token.

According to LimeWire, as part of this partnership with UMG, the major will provide licences to allow LimeWire to partner with UMG artists in order to launch music-based NFT projects using the LimeWire marketplace.

LimeWire Co-CEOs Paul and Julian Zehetmayr tell MBW that “the partnership is a true demonstration of the pace at which the music industry is embracing Web3”.

The deal marks UMG’s latest Web3 related move, and follows the launch last week of a virtual world and NFT collection for virtual band KINGSHIP, signed to Universal’s Web3 label 10:22PM.

LimeWire says that artists signed to UMG can now use its platform to 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.

“Musicians can release bonus tracks and exclusive material, sell uncut or backstage content, and much more,” added LimeWire in a media statement issued today (May 17).

In its statement, LimeWire said that UMG artists, as well as many of the company’s labels including Interscope, Republic, Def Jam, Capitol Records, Motown, Geffen, EMI, Virgin Music and more, “will be able to leverage the LimeWire marketplace as an additional platform to explore unique ways to engage with fans through digital music collectibles and Web3, and generate new revenue streams”.

In March, LimeWire announced it is relaunching later this year as a “|mainstream-ready digital collectibles marketplace” for art and entertainment, initially focusing on music.

LimeWire’s USD $10.4 million private sale of its LMWR token was led by large VC firms, Deadmau5’s 720Mau5 venture fund, as well as DAO Jones, a group of investors consisting of members from the music industry, including Steve Aoki.

“The partnership is a true demonstration of the pace at which the music industry is embracing Web3.”

Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, LimeWire 

Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, LimeWire Co-CEOs told MBW: “This is an important step towards increased industry collaboration and participation, with the common goal of making digital collectibles accessible and affordable.

“The partnership is a true demonstration of the pace at which the music industry is embracing Web3.

“We’re thrilled to open up the LimeWire NFT ecosystem to Universal Music Group artists and fans with our easy to use marketplace and can’t wait to see the first creative projects being launched on the marketplace.”

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

Jonathan Dworkin, Universal Music Group

Jonathan Dworkin, EVP, Digital Business Development & Strategy at Universal Music Group, said: “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, who is focused on guiding everyday users into this expansive arena, in this new era of Web3 engagement and music appreciation.”

“Universal Music Group and our labels are fully embracing the exciting Web3 space.”

Holger Christoph, Universal Music Group

Holger Christoph, Universal Music Group Senior Vice President of Digital Business, Central Europe, said: “Universal Music Group and our labels are fully embracing the exciting Web3 space and will work with our new partner LimeWire, our artists and their communities on engaging NFT projects with real utility and creating cool experiences for fans, while allowing mainstream consumers to participate in a safe and trusted environment with low entry barriers.”Music Business Worldwide



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