After nearly 8 years of operation (and 6 years of dealing with lawsuits), online music service Grooveshark is closed for business.

The company has posted a message on its website apologizing for its failure to “secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service.”

grooveshark html

While most mainstream internet music services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, and Google work out deals with music publishers before making songs available, Grooveshark had an upload music first, ask for permission later business model… which critics suggested amounted to piracy.

Since Grooveshark enabled users to upload tracks, the company offered a huge library of content which you could stream through its website or through mobile apps. But since the company didn’t actually have permission to host much of that music, it was always lawsuit bait… and it was sued by Universal, EMI, Sony, and Warner.

The company says it’s reached a settlement that involves shutting down immediately, erasing all music hosted on the service, and giving ownership of the website, mobile apps, and patents and copyrights to the labels.

It’s kind of a shame, because honestly Grooveshark had one of the most complete music catalogs and simple, easy-to-use tools for streaming music. Odds are that if you were looking for a song, you could find it and play it on Grooveshark. Now I guess you’ll just have to use YouTube instead.

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15 replies on “Grooveshark’s streaming music service shuts down”

  1. Sad day. – I used to run a label and GrooveShark were a useful way of getting free publicity. The Majors hate competition.

  2. RIP Grooveshark. Can’t say I didn’t see this coming, but thanks to Grooveshark I discovered and fell in love with foreign artists not licensed by the likes of Spotify (streaming sites that are available in the U.S.) and started buying CDs to support the artists. Guess I’ll have to jump to YouTube and upload my collection to Google Music Manager for streaming now.

  3. Grooveshark was a big deal here in Gainesville, FL, where it was based. The University of Florida is trying desperately to become an incubator for technology and rival places like the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Maybe another startup will put this region back on the map. The best known so far is Gatorade.

  4. Best music streaming site that ever existed. You could stream anything! You will be missed grooveshark!!!!

  5. 2 typos/mistakes

    “holders fro the vast” — should be “for”

    “which critics suggested amounted to privacy.” — privacy should be piracy

    1. and no one cares but you because you have extra time to be a human spell checker 🙂

      “Typo Nazi
      Someone who emphatically corrects others spelling errors in a public arena such as in a chat room or discussion board. The typo nazi then abruptly leaves the conversation with a dismissive and unbelieving attitude about the misspelled conversation.”

      1. Eh, I actually appreciate it. As longtime readers are well aware, I’m not exactly the best proofreader of my own material. So when people point out typos in the comments I make sure to correct them as quickly as I can.

        1. Maybe Disqus should set up two separate comment channels for all news and blog posts: “Comments” and “Crowd sourced copy-edits”.

          1. I think it would make for a great wordpress plugin. A separate area for readers to help edit and make the article better without disrupting the flow of general comments. I can understand how some folks like the person above might think that it’s just a smart ass thing to do. But I figure, as a reader, if I see some mistakes in the article then pointing them out to the author makes the article better and a better experience for future readers. May even help with search engine ranking. Win, win for everyone. I only point out mistakes in articles. I don’t do that for comments. That, I agree, would be inappropriate.

  6. So it was like limewire for streaming?
    So many people download magic illegally these days. It’s the equivalent of going into a store and stealing cd albums. It’s theft and you are not supporting the artist. It you like the artist and the music they have, why not buy it and support them?

    1. Well, no. It’s not the equvivalent of stealing a physical object. The same faulty argument was faulty even at the beginning of the piracy discussions. It’t not less faulty 30+ years later.

Comments are closed.