Digital Grooveshark Timeline

Grooveshark launches “democratised radio platform”

By | Published on Tuesday 23 April 2013


Grooveshark will later today launch a new service called Broadcast, which will allow users to create their “own live online radio shows”.

Described by the often controversial streaming music set up as “the first ever truly democratised radio platform”, the new service sounds very like and Soundrop, in that users will be able to listen in while other users choose the tunes. Though not quite as revolutionary as the Groovesharkers claim, word has it that Broadcast has a particularly user-friendly interface.

However, the major labels will be sure to point out that, as far as they are concerned, Grooveshark isn’t licensed to allow their content to be used in this way. None of the majors currently licence Grooveshark, though their content regularly appears on the site because it allows users to upload music to its platform.

Grooveshark insists that, because it routinely takes down copyright material when asked to do so by rights owners, it operates within US copyright law, even though users re-upload content as quickly as the labels can get it taken down. And given recent interpretations of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act in court they are probably right, though the American record industry would like that law to be changed to close what it considers to be a loophole.

The launch of Broadcast comes as Grooveshark founder Sam Tarantino admits in a new interview with Mashable that his company had a challenging 2012 amidst legal threats and new competitors like Spotify. So much so his firm has had to downsize, he says, and he’s struggling to get by on the mere $60,000 a year he pays himself.

The frank admission may be an attempt to convince Grooveshark’s critics in the grass roots music community that he and his company are not the big bad enemy making millions off the back of cash-strapped artists and songwriters. Though said music types might ask: if Grooveshark is struggling to make ends meet without paying any royalties for much of the content it streams, how can it possibly hope to grow into a fully licensed operation?

Though Grooveshark might counter that many of its competitors have similarly uncertain business models once the millions and millions of start-up capital is taken out of the equation. Fun times all round really.