Grooveshark shuts down

Martin Brinkmann
May 1, 2015
Updated • May 1, 2015
Music and Video

The popular music service Grooveshark is no more. An announcement was posted on the service's frontpage that explains the reasoning behind the decision.

We have followed Grooveshark ever since it was launched in 2007 here on Ghacks when the site still ran in Adobe Flash. What set it apart from other music service sites, especially back in 2007, was how it operated.

It offered music streaming and recommendations, and allowed users to upload audio files to the service. In fact, all the contents available on the site came from user sources which was advantageous on the one hand as the service's popularity ensured that its music catalog was well stocked but also disadvantageous as rights-holders were not pleased about this.

Major record labels won a lawsuit against Grooveshark in late 2014 in which founders and employees were deeply implicated in uploading music to the service to make its music library more attractive.

According to the announcement on the Grooveshark website, shutting down the site is part of the settlement agreement with major record companies.

As part of a settlement agreement with major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies' copyrighted works and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyright.

The announcement on the website suggests to use other, affordable, music services like Spotify or Deezer instead.

It is unclear what happened to user data. Was it wiped clean along with copyrighted works or was it handed over as part of the settlement agreement. If the latter is true, it could very well have further implications for some users of the service.

As it stands, the official applications are still available on web stores. It is probably only a matter of time before they are taken down as well. It is likely that they won't work properly anymore due to the shut down of the service anyway.

Closing Words

Grooveshark is not the only established service that was taken down this month. Earlier this month, Rapidshare was shut down as well by its parent company.

While it is sad to see these services go, there are plenty of alternatives available for both that offer similar features and services.

Now You: Have you used Grooveshark before?

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The popular music sharing and discovery service Grooveshark shut down operations today.

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  1. SortingHat said on May 19, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    That’s what happens when corporations have a monopoly. We have NO free market despite what the press says. We haven’t had a free market since before WW2 in which the big government/military complex happened.

  2. Philip Gatti said on May 4, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    i honestly hate how grooveshark had to shut down after people paid their money for it. its basically wasting their money all for nothing and i personally feel bad for all those people who were in that position. it is absolutely ridiculous and they should have at least given us a heads up about this before people spend their money on a site that is gunna be no longer existent within the next week after paying this money. technically, its a total ripoff and the people got ripped off too and i despise how it happened

  3. Dan said on May 2, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I could go on Grooveshark and listen to any song I wanted without having to sign in or have a password or username. Where else can I find that?

    1. Blue said on May 3, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      Jango. But after the first song plays, the following is a mix of similar styles and artists and the original artists again. Jango essentially is an online radio. Like most radio stations you can call in an request a single song but after that, the normal station programming kicks in. Jango is the same. Type in either a song name or artist and either that song plays or something else from that artist if it isn’t available.

      But here is an article about Spotify, vs Rdio, vs Deezer comparison. Incidentally all those sites rank in the 2500-6000 range according to the Alexa index*. Jango is in the 6000 range. A smaller lessor known company that has been gaining popularity over the years.

      *Alexa is an Amazon originating web tool that tracks site traffic around the globe and only based visits per day, repeat visits, and overall popularity.

      gHacks ranks in the 9000 range…

      YouTube ranks 4th on the Alexa index. Google is ranked 1st, Facebook is 2nd, Amazon is 3rd.

      1. SortingHat said on May 19, 2015 at 11:43 pm

        I’m from Oregon and going to Deezer says “This service is not available in you’re country* where several years ago I used it just fine but didn’t have much music I wanted so I left. Did they change their policies?

  4. Philip Gatti said on May 1, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    i know that limewire, napster and now grooveshark are completely gone, but theres also another music site that starts with a g that is now gone too.. i think its gothli something idk but if anyone knows i would like for them to tell me… i seriously hope there is a replacement for grooveshark where you can chat and listen to music the same as you were able to while grooveshark was alive

  5. Angie said on May 1, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    “While it is sad to see these services go, there are plenty of alternatives available for both that offer similar features and services.”

    Such as?

    1. Adriano Geek said on May 1, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Spotify – Rdio – Deezer …

      1. Angie said on May 2, 2015 at 4:37 am

        Thank you!

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on May 1, 2015 at 6:29 pm
      1. Philip gatti said on May 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm

        is it a chat site like grooveshark was?

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on May 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        I think it is closer to Spotify and the like, only that it is free to use with no apparent restrictions.

      3. Angie said on May 2, 2015 at 4:36 am


  6. philip gatti said on May 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I’m literally so distraught that grooveshark is gone. I had a grooveshark for almost 2 years and it was the only music service that I was used to for finding music and meeting new people on there from around the world. Now that it is gone, I don’t think there is any other music sites that you can chat on like grooveshark 😢

  7. Keith said on May 1, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Seriously disappointing. Any recommendations for a good alternative?

    1. webfork said on May 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      There’s no shortage of folks to take their place:

  8. Elijah said on May 1, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    this is stupid I paid money for this and now they shut the stupid site down

  9. ZzzZombi said on May 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I was using it to find obscure stuff like certain video game-movie soundtracks, folk music etc. Also the DJ feature was pretty nice. Oh well, we can’t have nice things for free.

  10. jimbo said on May 1, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    How does youtube avoid the copyright police ? (Music Key exepted).
    Surely Google would be bankrupt if they were hit for damages on the scale that the smaller organizations are?

    1. Aeden said on May 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Youtube automatically recognizes copyrighted music and posts a direct link to a webstore where it can be purchased. Thanks to the power of Google.

      Movies, shows, and video game content are a different story. Whether or not those are allowed to remain is up to the right holder’s discretion. Google was one of the first search engines to comply with the Millennium Act, pretty sure they have their bases covered.

  11. Wayfarer said on May 1, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    If the suits running the media industries think this might phase us into forking out on their overpriced products, they can think again. Forcing the closure of services like Grooveshark won’t send them more profit, it will simply drive consumers to the ‘usual suspects’ in search of the goods.

    A media industry that continually harasses its own potential customer base is a massive own goal and surely a business phenomena that could only happen in the IT industry. The problem here isn’t piracy or copyright – it’s gravy-train media executives without the wit to develop new business models.

    1. Dan said on May 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      Yeah You can’t steal someone’s work and sell it without paying a license fee or a cut of it to the person who owns it.


      This was bound to happen. I wonder if they’ll go after Google for Youtube with this case law now.

      1. TSJNachos117 said on May 6, 2015 at 3:39 am

        The MPAA has already started going after Google, in what they have been referring to as “Project Goliath”. Basically, they’ve started bribing state attorney generals to issue massive subpoenas against Google, challenging Google’s DMCA section 512 compliance, and demanding information about an overwhelmingly large number of everyday users. Google managed to fight that subpoena, arguing that such subpoenas could have been disastrous for the open internet.

      2. Blue said on May 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm

        Youtube’s policy since Google bought it in 2006, has been if the copy right holders come forward on something then you must remove it. If you try to circumvent it, you will be charged.

    2. CommonSense said on May 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Wayfarer, I think you’re missing the point. The point is not that a website was distributing music or providing an affordable choice for consumers. It was because they were doing so without compensating the people that had the license to do so. It’s no different from you walking into a farmer’s crop field, taking vegetables from the ground, and selling them yourself, without paying any money to the farmers that have grown the vegetables. You’d be stealing from the farmers that produced the crops. The “suits” don’t care how you consume music. They just care that you consume music in a fair way, legal way.

      1. TSJNachos117 said on May 6, 2015 at 3:21 am

        The best farm-related analogy I can think of is this:

        You “stole” one vegetable, and used some kind of sci-fi matter duplicator to produce millions of copies of that vegetable. Rather than being given a medal for ending world hunger, you get sued, your duplicator is smashed to pieces, and everyone around you start comparing you to murders who attack innocent ocean-travelers. Then, to add insult to injury, all the people who ate those vegetable clones will get the same treatment if the supermarket manages to track them down.

        PS: The reason I mentioned a supermarket instead of a farmer is to produce a more accurate analogy: most major record labels have a long history of paying artists as little as possible. Yet when they (supposedly) start loosing profits, they claim it’s “the artists” – the same artists who are hardly making any money off the album sales at all – who are being “hurt”. (For those of you who want to support artists, make sure you buy concert tickets and merchandise, as that will generally land more money in the artists’ pockets than any multi-platinum album.)

        PS: do the world a favor, and do whatever you can to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (and FastTrack, too), as copyright bullies like the MPAA and RIAA are using it to shaft as many nations as they can.

      2. Corky said on May 4, 2015 at 8:08 pm

        @Ron, I don’t follow your analogy of driving a friend, after all Grooveshark was a public service much like a bus service is.
        Maybe your analogy would work if Grooveshark was a private company that’s only intention was to enable private members to share copyrighted works only between themselves and wasn’t useable by everyone.

      3. Ron said on May 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm

        “Not really the same thing thought is it, a closer analogy would be closing down the bus service that the thieves used to get to the farmers field.”

        A better analogy would be your friend asks you to drive him to the field so he could steal vegetables. You don’t actually steal them yourself, but you enable your friend to steal them, so you could be charged as an accessory. Grooveshark deliberately enabled, and probably encouraged, copyright violations by allowing users to upload and download copyrighted material. Or at least did not take enough steps (like YouTube) to ensure that copyrighted material was not being unfairly distributed through its site.

      4. BetterCommonSense said on May 1, 2015 at 8:20 pm

        I never paid a dime to Grooveshark, and used it quite regularly. They never SOLD me ANYTHING. They GAVE me music. Therefore, it is more like: Gathering crops from random people, and letting those crops be used by other random people.

        Much much different.

      5. Corky said on May 1, 2015 at 5:42 pm

        Not really the same thing thought is it, a closer analogy would be closing down the bus service that the thieves used to get to the farmers field.

  12. Nebulus said on May 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Another victory for the copyright monopoly…

    1. Dave said on May 1, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      And why shouldn’t they have won?

      1. Corky said on May 1, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        Depends who you consider was breaking copyright, the people who uploaded and downloaded the copyrighted materiel or the company that provided the service.

        Care needs to be taken on who is judged responsible because of the precedence it sets, you only need to look at a recent block placed on a P2P application in the UK to see it has worrying implications.

      2. Howard said on May 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        Because Copyrights are (as the name implies) rights that happen to exist because of and be enforced by the state. A much better way would be contract agreements when you purchased a product.

      3. Nebulus said on May 1, 2015 at 2:12 pm

        Why would they? :)

  13. Dan82 said on May 1, 2015 at 9:52 am

    When Spotify wasn’t available in my country yet and other streaming services had not even been started yet, Grooveshark was indeed in my bookmarks list and I used it every now and then. In retrospect I’m rather curious why it took so long for the record labels to win this judgment, but back then I was more than happy to have access to a service such as this.

  14. mccabe said on May 1, 2015 at 8:30 am

    and another one bites the cust

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