LimeWire continues Web3 journey with ‘creator studio’ on Polygon

A file sharing program once used to spread pirated music in the early 2000s will continue its more recent iteration as a Web3 content platform by launching a creator studio on Polygon.

The studio’s first use case is image generation, allowing users to create new images or enhance existing ones via various artificial intelligence models.

Later in the third quarter, users will be able to use a library of melodies, beats and songs to create AI-generated music, according to LimeWire chief operating officer Marcus Feistl. The content is to be initially sourced from partner platforms and LimeWire-owned content before allowing musicians to upload their own content.

Everything created in the studio will be minted on the Polygon blockchain. The platform splits earnings between the uploading artist of the original content and the creator of the newly AI-generated content.

Specifically, artists earn a share of the ad revenue generated on LimeWire — paid out in its native LMWR token — based on the number of views their content generates. The pieces of content can also be traded on the LimeWire secondary market as NFTs. Creators would receive a royalty, currently paid out in USDC, on this trade volume. 

Finally, creators can limit access to their content by requiring fans to pay a monthly fee, also denominated in USDC.

Payouts through these various methods are sent to creators’ LimeWire accounts and can be withdrawn at any time.

“The studio is really made for experienced creators just as much as it is for first-timers,” Feistl told Blockworks in an email. “Experienced creators might use it to enhance their existing content or to tap into new content types — [like] creating cover art for music releases — while newcomers might find it as a very easy start into their creator journey.”

While each user gets a certain amount of free creations per month, those using more frequently will be charged a fee, the COO noted. 

Brothers Julian and Paul Zehetmayr bought LimeWire’s intellectual property in 2021 for an undisclosed sum. The company raised roughly $10 million in April 2022 as part of a private token sale by Kraken Ventures, Arrington Capital and GSR. 

LimeWire said in a blog post at the time its initial focus was to launch a music-focused digital collectibles marketplace, noting the platform was designed “to drastically lower barriers of entry into the world of NFTs.”

In April, the company launched a game for users to simulate the downloading of music considered popular at the turn of the century. The official listing of its LMWR token came a month later.

The launch of its NFT marketplace and token listing were “the required steps to democratize creator earnings and create a decentralized and fair creator economy on LimeWire,” Feistl said. 

“LimeWire’s goal is to become the no.1 platform for anyone to create, share and monetize content,” he added. “With the launch of the LimeWire AI Studio, we will now lower the entry barrier for anyone to become a content creator and start their creative entrepreneurial journey.”

Napster, a file-sharing application launched in 1999 that competed with LimeWire, revealed earlier this year it would also move into the Web3 space via an acquisition of NFT music platform Mint Songs.

That buy came after blockchain company Algorand and crypto investment firm Hivemind bought Napster last year. The acquirers said in a LinkedIn post at the time they would “once again revolutionize the music industry by bringing blockchain and Web3 to artists and fans.”

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