Grooveshark Streaming Service Shuts Down

Grooveshark, one of the pioneers of the streaming music space, ceased operations over the weekend as part of a settlement reached with a group of major recording labels. The service’s homepage now displays a message to music fans, explaining the company’s mistakes and apologizing for failing to secure licenses for music shared on its website. “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,” reads part of the message. Grooveshark also acknowledged several streaming services that are succeeding where it failed, including Spotify, Rdio, Google Play and Beats Music.

Grooveshark launched in 2007 as a platform where users could share music, shutting down for the first time after a $17 billion lawsuit was filed by major labels. The labels contended that Grooveshark’s entire model violated copyrights by allowing users to upload and share content for free without any payments being made to copyright holders. The service relaunched a few weeks later with a “tip jar” feature that allowed users to give back to artists, though streaming was essentially still free.

*Update-May 6, 2015: Grooveshark re-surfaced late Tuesday as The site is similar in appearance to Grooveshark, with a home page displaying a search bar. Type an artist’s name in the bar and sure enough, links to stream or download songs from that artist appear. The site appears to be just a search aggregator, finding mp3 files that are hosted elsewhere. Either way, it’s doubtful the site will remain up for long since the major labels own the rights to the Grooveshark name and will undoubtedly take action to shut it down.