Forget Spotify, SoundCloud, or listening to old-fashioned radio. With Grooveshark, you can upload your own music, listen to your friends’ uploads, or listen to other’s broadcasts. While reading the blog below, why not start listening to one of my personal favorites right away?
Not only a great platform for launching your own garage-based heavy metal band, but also a nice way to listen to the same music as your friends, no matter where you are. Founded in 2006 by Sam Tarantino, a student and musician, and the more technical Josh Greenberg, Groovehark states to be an online ecosystem, bringing together fans, bands, labels and brands. It currently has over 30 millions users world-wide, and over 15 millions songs available .
So, what’s new in Grooveshark in comparison to all others? Grooveshark offers a range of possibilities, extending beyond most online streaming music services. First of all, the music that is available ranges from the current most popular songs (a top 500 is provided conveniently under ‘Popular’) to your personal band, looking for a broader fanbase. All available music is uploaded by the users, opening possibilities for bands with established fanbases and newly started musicians. Second of all, every user has the possiblity to create playlists, broadcasts or share music with your online community. Thirdly, Grooveshark has various genre stations available which only broadcast music within a certain musical genre. During studying, you might want to try the Chillout or Jazz station, while you can try the Dance or Samba station if you’re in a more energetic mood.
Everyone can use Grooveshark, even without registering. Registering (for free!) has benefits however: creating your own playlist to not lose your music and interacting with other users are among them. If you want even more options, you can subscribe for Grooveshark Anywhere, enabling you to download the Android or iOS app, and removing the advertisements from the page.
Most of Grooveshark’s revenues come from these advertisement. The users that opt for an upgrade to a premium account, admit that they primarily do that to support the site rather than for the additional benefits of it . Tarantino’s vision of making music available for free is based on the reasoning that bands make enough money while touring anyway, so why pay for Spotify or other services? To prove that the gains are twofold (fans AND bands), Grooveshark teamed up with a band called Quiet Company in 2011. The deal: Grooveshark promotes the band for a week, and the band offers the music free of charge. The result: the band’s live show revenue doubled .
Of course, some reservations on grooveshark’s business model can be made. All four major music companies (EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal) have been suing Grooveshark since 2010, claiming damages up to 17.1 US$  for copyright infringement. Grooveshark claims to honor all takedown requests complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but also states that they “would much rather pay you [the artist] than remove your content” . But recently, Grooveshark has entered agreements with EMI and Sony, although legal fights with others are continuing.
To conclude, Grooveshark offers possibilities for both bands and fans, often extending beyond those of their peers. Although operating in a legal gray area, it can be recommended to everyone!
- About Grooveshark. Accessed 27 April 2014.
- After Getting ‘Pummeled’ By Lawsuits, Music Streaming Site Grooveshark Is Making A Comeback. Accessed 27 April 2014.
- Grooveshark Finds Out What Happens When Music Is Free. Accessed 27 April.
- Universal Music Sues Music Streaming Service for 100,000 Illegal Uploads. Accessed 27 April 2014.
- Grooveshark DMCA Takedown Policy. Accessed 27 April 2014.