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Grooveshark revamps

By | Published on Tuesday 3 March 2015


Often controversial streaming music service Grooveshark announced a super new look last week, with “a beautiful, responsive design to help ensure a consistent experience across all devices” and more “community interaction and sharing” to aid discovery of all that music that the labels claim shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Announcing the year-in-the-making overhaul of the Grooveshark platform, the firm’s CTO Josh Greenberg recently told reporters: “Grooveshark will be centred on social interaction through music. We’ve listened to the needs of our listeners and artists, as well as the music industry as a whole. Listeners want better ways to discover music, just as artists want better ways to engage with their fans. We’ve coupled these needs with the industry’s desire for more flexibility in controlling content. These were the driving motivations behind the new site”.

I’m pretty sure that if Grooveshark had listened to most key “artists” and “the music industry as a whole” they’d have actually shut up shop. But whatever. The US-based streaming service insists, of course, that it operates within copyright law, even though it allows users to upload unlicensed music onto its servers.

And it probably is operating within the law (which is why the majors have had to sue on technicalities rather than with a straight infringement lawsuit), though many artists and labels reckon the firm exploits a loophole in American copyright law to operate without having deals in place with either the majors or most key indies.

That said, the revamp seems to push forward more Groovesharks’s newish Broadcast element, which, if cut free from the Spotify-style on-demand element, could be less controversial in music circles in that it could probably be licensed in the US via the SoundExchange system, which might be more realistic for the Grooveshark company, and would certainly save it from having to deal directly with the big labels that would rather see the streaming company collapse.

Though it’s not clear if that is Grooveshark’s plan for Broadcast. Plus, while I say “less controversial”, that’s the way Pandora is licensed, and it’s hardly light on controversy in the American music community.