Say the name ‘LimeWire’ to web users of a certain generation and it’ll conjure up memories of pirated movies and illegal music downloads.
All that changed in 2022, when LimeWire was revived as a music-based NFT platform, with the company seeking to become a creators’ studio.
Now, it's gone one step further in that goal, with the firm’s new owners buying up popular AI art generator BlueWillow.
What does this mean for content creators?
Compared to the likes of Midjourney, BlueWillow is a new kid on the block. Founded in January 2023, it’s already proved a popular choice for AI artists chiefly thanks to its commitment to accessible AI art technology.
The platform itself is slightly different to many text-to-image AI generators. As an aggregator of multiple AI models, it tests various diffusion models, including Stable Diffusion, to find the top models for a user’s prompts. It also maintains a heavy presence on its Discord server, where community members share images and ideas.
Don’t expect that to change with the LimeWire acquisition. For now, it seems the plan is to allow BlueWillow to continue flourishing on Discord, while integrating the tool into LimeWire Studio.
LimeWire already includes a content creation space on its website. In its Explore section, users can buy music, videos, and images generated by artificial intelligence. Creators can set up membership subscriptions for fans and sell their creations on the site.
According to the company, “Every post you share on LimeWire automatically becomes a digital collectible for each of your subscribers to own. If you have 300 subscribers, each post will consist of 300 digital collectibles. As your fans trade your collectibles, you earn a 2.5% royalty fee on every resale.” That NFT origin, then, is clear, with all so-called collectibles minted on the blockchain, although the BlueWillow buy-out is thought to be part of the company’s plans to shift its main focus away from non-fungible tokens while broadening its user-base..
However, dip into the AI Studio section of the site and users can also create their own content. For now, only text-to-image generators are available, with the option to select different AI-powered models, including BlueWIllow. Video and Audio creations are said to be coming soon.
It’s not yet known how much the company paid for BlueWillow - though what is clear is that members of the BlueWillow team won’t be joining LimeWire. How that impacts the AI graphic design software (and its current pricing model) after the transition period remains to be seen.