|Type of site||Music|
|Available language(s)||30 languages|
|Owner||Escape Media Group Inc.|
|Created by||Sam Tarantino, Josh Greenberg, Andrés Barreto|
|Alexa rank||1099 (April 26, 2013)|
Grooveshark, a subsidiary of Escape Media Group, is an online music streaming service based in the United States. It has a search engine, streaming service, and recommendation application. Users can stream and upload music that can be played immediately or added to a playlist.
As of January 2012, Grooveshark has been sued for copyright-violations by all the major music companies, namely EMI Music Publishing, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group. For one suit complaining about copyright-infringement, the liabilities have been estimated at US $17 billion. Concerns about copyrights led Google, Apple and Facebook to remove Grooveshark's applications from Google Play, the App Store (iOS) and Facebook platform respectively. In July 2012, a New York State judge ruled that pre-1972 recordings were covered by the "safe harbor" provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The interfaces's tabs have these titles: overview, songs, albums (active), events, similar artists, fans; the albums tab is active. There are links to three social-media applications: Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
Grooveshark enables users to upload and share music with friends, with Grooveshark's file-distribution system or by using other social-media applications.
Grooveshark is a rich Internet application that originally ran in Adobe Flash. In December 2010, Grooveshark redesigned its site to provide an HTML5 interface. Grooveshark displays songs, playlists, and users. Grooveshark has a Java Web Start application that scans users' folders for MP3s, uploading and adding them to the user's online library. The ID3 information of the uploaded song is linked to the user, and the file is uploaded to Grooveshark, which then offers on-demand music playback. All content on the service is user-sourced.
Grooveshark’s catalog streams over 1 billion sound files per month, over 15 million songs and has 35 million users. Users can search and find music by song, artist, album, browsing friends’ recent activity, and even through other users’ playlists. The service allows users to create and edit Playlists. Registered users can save playlists to an account, subscribe to other users’ Playlists, and share Playlists through e-mail, social media, StumbleUpon, Reddit or an embeddable widget. Users can listen to Genre Radio Stations of particular genres or they can populate their own station via their list of Current Songs. The site can use the song list to stream similar music, and this stream selection is updating using user ratings of songs. Grooveshark features a “Community” section, where users can view the activity of friends by “following” them. Users can connect other social media accounts.
Grooveshark is a service of Escape Media Group Inc. (EMG), based in Gainesville, Florida. As of January 2012, Grooveshark employs over 130 people, with nearly 100 working in its headquarters in Gainesville and others in New York City.
Grooveshark was founded in March 2006 by three undergraduates at the University of Florida, with founder Sam Tarantino becoming CEO. During its first two years, Grooveshark functioned as a paid downloadable music service, with its content sourced from a proprietary P2P network called “Sharkbyte”. Grooveshark stated that it paid users who uploaded a transacted song a portion of the accounting costs for the song. Grooveshark positioned itself as a legal competitor to other popular P2P networks such as LimeWire, although questions about its legality arose from the beginning. In 2008, the service enabled users to click and play songs on the site without having to download an application.
As of 2009, Grooveshark had secured almost $1 million in seed funding. Also in 2009, Grooveshark launched its artist platform called Grooveshark Artists, which distributes music to fans interested in similar music. On October 27, 2009, Grooveshark revised its interface, which enabled users to skip to any point in a song, left-hand navigation, customizable site themes, and drag-and-drop editing of playlists. On December 2, 2010, the site's interface was rewritten for HTML5. Its music player continued to use Adobe Flash. Another update occurred in October 2011.
On January 18, 2012 Grooveshark removed service in Germany, stating that it closed due to the costs of licensing. On November 21, 2011, Grooveshark was a Mashable Awards 2011 Finalist in the Best Music Service or App category. On December 19, 2011, Grooveshark co-founders Sam Tarantino and Josh Greenberg were listed among the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Music.
On September 5, 2012 Grooveshark presented its full HTML5 player, effectively nullifying Google and Apple's decisions to make the service unavailable to mobile apps.
On August 28, 2012 Google Play restored Grooveshark's app.
Grooveshark has been sued for copyright infringement by all the major music companies, and the suits were active in January 2012. The major companies are EMI Music Publishing, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group. Concerns about copyright usage have prompted Google, Apple and Facebook to remove Grooveshark's applications from Google Play, the iOS App Store and Facebook platform respectively.
Licenses and royalties
Grooveshark has licensing deals with record labels. Settling a lawsuit, EMI signed with Grooveshark. Another licenser is Sun Records. However, on January 5, 2012, EMI sued Grooveshark over non-payment of royalties since the signing of their license-agreement for streaming music; Grooveshark failed to provide "a single accounting statement" according to the complaint.
Universal Music Group filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Grooveshark on January 6, 2010, alleging that Grooveshark maintained on its servers illegal copies of Universal's pre-1972 catalog. Time Magazine reported in 2011 that the Universal Music Group was suing Grooveshark for more than $15 billion; the liabilities have been estimated as 17.1 billion U.S. dollars. In 2010 Time's on-line supplement had listed Grooveshark among its 50 Best Websites. Apple removed its iPhone Grooveshark app from its store after only a few days on August 16, 2010; its spokesperson stated that Apple was concerned about copyright complaints and had concerns about intellectual property rights. On April 1, 2011, the Grooveshark application was pulled from the Android Market. In May 2012, Facebook removed Grooveshark "due to a copyright infringement complaint".
CEO Sam Tarantino stated that the company strictly follows the takedown procedures of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, stating that usually Grooveshark expeditiously removes content. However, "major label executives also say they have sent hundreds of thousands of takedown notices to Grooveshark, only to watch songs reappear on its servers within seconds." King Crimson's Robert Fripp complained that Grooveshark had been continuing to distribute his music, even after repeated takedown notices and other complaints. Fripp's correspondence with Grooveshark was published by Digital Music News and on the website of Fripp's company.
Fripp's published exchange was included in a suit against Grooveshark by Universal Music Group, which was filed in November 2011. UMG cited internal documents revealing that Grooveshark employees uploaded thousands of illegal copies of UMG-owned recordings. Six individuals were named as personally having uploaded between 1,000 and 40,000 songs each; other employees had uploaded 43,000 songs, according to page eight of the complaint. For each of the 113,777 alleged uploadings, a penalty of US $150,000 was requested by Universal, amounting to an estimated US $17.1 billion. Grooveshark denied all the complaints. Grooveshark's attorney complained about a "gross mischaracterisation" of the documents obtained during the lawsuit's discovery phase. In July 2012, New York State Supreme Court Judge Barbara Kapnick ruled that pre-1972 recordings are protected under the "safe harbor" provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, although the implications of the ruling are unclear.
In 2013, Entertainment Weekly compared a number of music services and granted Grooveshark a "B", writing, "Users upload libraries onto cloud servers, which means fewer catalog holes. But there's only an Android app, and the Web interface can get sluggish."
- List of social networking websites
- List of Internet stations
- List of online music databases
- Streaming media
- Peer-to-peer (P2P)
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September: "Wednesday, 7th September 2011", "Saturday, 10th September 2011", "Monday, 12th September 2011", "Wednesday, 14th September 2011", "Thursday, 15th September 2011", "Wednesday, 21 September 2011", and "Monday, 26th September 2011";
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