Before popular services like Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal were thriving, Grooveshark had launched with the promise to offer free streaming of any song to its audience and this caused it to grow quickly to tens of millions of users. What was the issue with this concept? The service didn't setup any deals with the major labels thus rendering their service's legality as a grey area and acted as a major red flag to the music industry.
It wasn't long before three of the biggest music labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group came a knocking at Grooveshark's door resulting in a six-year legal battle. This has ultimately been settled just this week with Grooveshark being forced to shut down their service entirely with their website, app, and assets being wiped clean and a formal apology issued to the music industry as a whole.
Yesterday, Grooveshark founders wrote a goodbye note that has replaced the homepage on the service's domain:
Dear music fans,
Today we are shutting down Grooveshark.
We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service.
That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.
As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all the data on our servers and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.
At that time of our launch, few music services provided the experience we wanted to offer and think you deserve. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. There are now hundreds of fan friendly, affordable services available for you to choose from, including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody and Rdio, among many others.
If you love music and respect the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders. You can find out more about the many great services available where you live here:http://whymusicmatters.com/find-music.
It has been a privilege getting to know so many of you and enjoying great music together. Thank you for being such passionate fans.
Yours in music,
Your friends at Grooveshark
April 30, 2015
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.