LimeWire has been a well-known name in the world of file-sharing for years, and now they are getting serious about their paid platform. The company recently finalized a content agreement with The Orchard, which will add around 1.2 million songs to the LimeWire Store. This content injection will push the total catalog past two million, according to company estimates.
The LimeWire Store first emerged several months ago and already contains content from Redeye Distribution, Nettwerk Music Group, and IRIS. The store offers DRM-free MP3s, encoded at 256kbps, a format that plays well for most music fans.
In terms of pricing, the catalog will be available as one-off, a-la-carte downloads, though fans can also secure content through monthly subscription packages. The tiers include 25 monthly downloads for $9.99; 50 downloads for $14.99; and 75 songs for $19.99. Lime Wire’s chief financial officer Jesse Rubenfeld says, “If you use them all, you are getting deeply discounted music.”
This is another viable option for independent music fans, but LimeWire is famous for serving free downloads to millions of file-sharers across various music styles, including mainstream, major label content. Whether those users will suddenly start paying remains speculative, and Rubenfeld declined to share pre-Orchard sales specifics. “Relative to zero, we have seen a lot of growth,” Rubenfeld offered. “I have been writing royalty checks every month, and they are more than doubling.”
Lime Wire LLC is saddled with a major label lawsuit, one that has dragged on for years. In that light, the LimeWire Store offers a nice counterweight to the file-sharing free-for-all, though Rubenfeld preferred to describe the core LimeWire service as “organic peer-to-peer results,” a characterization the majors are challenging. “Lime Wire started as a technology company, and this store represents the first intersection of that endeavor with the music industry,” Rubenfeld said. “We are going to make this work for artists and labels – and for us, too.”
The Orchard is a leading independent music and video distribution company operating in over 25 global markets. They work closely with independent record labels, management companies, and artists to provide them with digital distribution, marketing, synchronization, and artist and label services.
The Orchard’s content will be available on LimeWire Store in the near future, along with other independent labels and distributors. The LimeWire Store is the latest addition to the LimeWire family, which includes the LimeWire Basic and LimeWire Pro file-sharing clients.
The LimeWire Basic client is a free, open-source file-sharing program that allows users to share and download files from the LimeWire network. LimeWire Pro is an enhanced version of the Basic client that offers faster download speeds, improved search capabilities, and access to premium content.
The LimeWire Store is a separate platform from the Basic and Pro clients and is designed to offer users a legal, easy-to-use alternative to the traditional file-sharing model. The LimeWire team is committed to providing users with a high-quality, affordable, and legal music service that supports independent artists and labels.
In conclusion, the LimeWire Store is a great option for independent music fans who want to support their favorite artists and labels while enjoying high-quality, DRM-free music downloads. With the addition of The Orchard’s content, the LimeWire Store now offers a vast, diverse catalog of music that is sure to please music fans of all genres. While it remains to be seen whether LimeWire’s file-sharing users will transition to the paid platform, the LimeWire team is committed to making the LimeWire Store a success for artists, labels, and music fans alike.
Story by publisher Paul Resnikoff.