Limewire is making a reentry in the market and it’s the best example of zombie brands coming back from dead
Limewire, a popular peer-to-peer file-sharing website from the early 2000s that went defunct in 2010, is making a reentry in the market with a digital collectible marketplace at the hands of its new owners. It’s the latest example of zombie brands coming back from the dead to cash in on the crypto gold rush.
More than a decade since it closed down, LimeWire is making a comeback but with a twist. The service will relaunch in May as a marketplace for trading non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, digital assets that keep a record of ownership for virtual items on the blockchain.
LimeWire is relaunching as a digital collectibles marketplace for art and entertainment, initially focused on music. Using LimeWire, you’ll be able to create, buy and trade NFT collectibles with ease.
LimeWire’s resurrection is a bet on the power of the brand. The team behind the company’s new, crypto-inflected service is hoping a trusted name can help ease new users into the notoriously inhospitable world of Web 3.
LimeWire was acquired last year by a pair of Austrian brothers, Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, and is now being relaunched with a crypto twist. Purchases will be denominated in U.S. dollars, but it’s pitching itself as an OpenSea alternative, a kind of eBay for NFTs, with a focus on music-related collectibles. Julian told Bloomberg it will be “initially a very music-focused marketplace,” but left the door open for other kinds of NFTs down the line.
But there comes a doubt about how the new LimeWire will distinguish itself from existing music NFT platforms. Sound.XYZ, which launched in December, is explicitly focused on communal listening and monetization. Royal, led by the producer Justin Blau, offers song royalties via crypto. A catalog is a marketplace for one-of-one audio NFTs. And communities like Water & Music, Tiny Mix Tapes, Poolsuite and some are experimenting with the social side of music NFTs.
The marketplace will be fully curated and is launching with major artist partnerships from the music industry.
Brothers Paul and Julian Zehetmayr bought the rights of the company with hopes of reviving the brand in the Web3 era. Given LimeWire’s connection with the music industry, it was primarily used for downloading pirated songs; the new era for the brand will be focused on supporting artists and the music industry.
The CEO brothers addressed the controversial past of the platform and claimed it was one of the key reasons for reviving the brand and supporting true artists and their content.
So far, LimeWire’s revival feels like pure gesturing, an attempt by these two entrepreneurs to piggyback on the file-sharing site’s reputation in the hopes of a quick payday.
LimeWire plans to list prices in US dollars on the platform, and users will be able to purchase tokens using credit cards. The company has already partnered with the start-up Wyre to facilitate payments.
The company also has plans to launch its crypto token native to the new LimeWire ecosystem. Its launch will start with an initial offering to investors in March and an invite-only private sale in April, followed by a public sale in 2022.