Google kicks Grooveshark out of the Android Market

By on April 6, 2011, 11:05 AM
Google has kicked Grooveshark out of the Android Market. It's currently unclear if Google will also remotely remove Grooveshark from Android smartphones on which the app has already been installed. The search giant has done this before, but only for malware-infested apps. If the company doesn't start enforcing this policy, users should still be able to get the app from Grooveshark directly since Android does allow you to install apps that don't come from the Market (unless you're on AT&T).

In response to questions regarding Grooveshark's removal from the Android Market, the company wasn't particularly verbose. "We remove apps from Android Market that violate our terms of service," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. While Mountain View did not detail what violations Grooveshark has committed in relation to the Market's terms of service, it is likely that it comes down to pressure from the music industry.

The move comes many months after Apple did the same on its App Store. After receiving complaints from the top record companies last year, the iOS version of Grooveshark disappeared in August 2010.

Grooveshark, based in Gainesville, Florida, is a service that offers music for free by enabling users to post their own tracks to the site and then share them with other users. The streaming service, which boasts more than 6 million songs, is very much disliked by the music industry.




User Comments: 14

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TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So first we hear "Android Music 3.0 app with cloud streaming" now they remove Groveshark. Anyone else find that a bit suspicious.

Guest said:

I can see no correlation *oblivious face*

NeoFryBoy said:

So first we hear "Android Music 3.0 app with cloud streaming" now they remove Groveshark. Anyone else find that a bit suspicious.

One is illegal the other is not. Google hasn't kicked Amazon's market app out.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

NeoFryBoy said:

So first we hear "Android Music 3.0 app with cloud streaming" now they remove Groveshark. Anyone else find that a bit suspicious.

One is illegal the other is not. Google hasn't kicked Amazon's market app out.

How in the world is Grooveshark illegal? They pay the artists EVERY TIME a song is played (hell, if you play a whole album, they technically buy the album for you). They maintain their site off of ads, and VIP subscriptions. The only reason as to why record labels don't like Grooveshark, is because Grooveshark pays the artists directly, or directly to the artists' vanity labels.

Really, a bit of research doesn't hurt.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

Come on Google don't act like the US Congress...

NeoFryBoy said:

How in the world is Grooveshark illegal? They pay the artists EVERY TIME a song is played (hell, if you play a whole album, they technically buy the album for you). They maintain their site off of ads, and VIP subscriptions. The only reason as to why record labels don't like Grooveshark, is because Grooveshark pays the artists directly, or directly to the artists' vanity labels.

Really, a bit of research doesn't hurt.

Why should I research when the Techspot writers are supposed to do it for me? Great links btw.

And judging from the DMCA notice on their site I'd guess they still have plenty of songs that aren't receiving royalties.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

lawfer said:

They pay the artists EVERY TIME a song is played (hell, if you play a whole album, they technically buy the album for you). They maintain their site off of ads, and VIP subscriptions.

Not trying to argue with anybody here, but how can Grooveshark make any money if this is the case? Because buying the app is not likely to cost you several hundreds of dollars, but there are (a lot of) people who listens to music worth over that amount of money. With no ads, no VIP subscriptions, Grooveshark would go bankrupt eventually.

From a financial point of view this sounds either like bogus or illegal. And as Google removed Grooveshark, my money's on the latter.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Lokalaskurar said:

lawfer said:

They pay the artists EVERY TIME a song is played (hell, if you play a whole album, they technically buy the album for you). They maintain their site off of ads, and VIP subscriptions.

Not trying to argue with anybody here, but how can Grooveshark make any money if this is the case? Because buying the app is not likely to cost you several hundreds of dollars, but there are (a lot of) people who listens to music worth over that amount of money. With no ads, no VIP subscriptions, Grooveshark would go bankrupt eventually.

From a financial point of view this sounds either like bogus or illegal. And as Google removed Grooveshark, my money's on the latter.

Like I said, they live off ads and VIP subscription. Now, let me ask you, how much do you think they pay artists for these songs? If a song costs from .99 to 1.99, the value of an unowned song is, let's say, .20. Grooveshark uses the high traffic it receives as a way to obtain higher income from ads, this income is then used to pay the royalties to the artists whose songs have been (repeatedly) played from the page where users see the very ads.

So technically, the only reason as to why they are still alive, and not bankrupt, is because they don't pay for the royalties themselves, they use the very ads as support. VIP subscriptions would be their actual source of income, which, by the way, a lot of people own the VIP subscription.

Not to mention, Grooveshark allows you to upload your music, and sell it. A percentage goes to them of course, which I assume its also for costs. Alternatively, every song you upload can get that artist paid; the same applies to each and every person. In other words, If I upload X song from my collection, and you just so happen to also have song X, and person Y listens to my song X, and then your song X, the artist gets paid for BOTH songs. And you know what? Person Y doesn't even own either song X. The more she listens to it, the more the artist gets paid, and she's much more likely to either buy the album from Grooveshark itself, or go to the nearest Best Buy and get it. Win-win.

The ONLY reason major labels dislike Grooveshark is because they don't get the profits directly. You see, when you as an artist are directly paid for music (for example, after a concert), record labels do not get profit. Record labels only profit from, you know, selling records (marketing its all about getting to that). Grooveshark business practice is indeed risky, because it is new and unorthodox, hence most people's skepticism... But it is as legitimate as it gets.

Now, Grooveshark can't keep up with EVERY artist/song uploaded to the site. That's why they have this on their site:

"We strongly suggest that you contact us at licensing (at) grooveshark (dot) com before filing a DMCA infringement claim. Grooveshark has an artists/label program to ensure that any owner of content will be compensated fairly for each time their content is played via Grooveshark. To be clear, as long as your infringement claim complies with the terms of the DMCA we will honor it, however <b>we would much rather pay you</b> than remove your content."

Grooveshark is the perfect example of how the media industry is nothing but greedy. They complain when people pirate, and now also complain when we find a clever way pay them? (Although they are not getting paid, the ARTISTS are, which, to me, it should always be that way.)

Guest said:

So surely thats still illeagal since both the record label and the artist own the song?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

No, it is perfectly legal and I do love using the site, wish they would release the iPhone app on the App store which Apple would approve, it won't happen but I would love it.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

So surely thats still illeagal since both the record label and the artist own the song?

Well, nope, that's not quite true. What most people don't even know is that record labels are not the owner of the music. You see, music is Intellectual Property; that IP is owned by whoever created the music. Record labels have a contract with such creator to distribute, promote and market that IP in exchange to receive a percentage (which is usually bigger) of the proceeds. But in the end the owner of the actual music is the artist.

Artists (specially aspiring ones) can't manufacture CDs, promotion, ads, etc. They need a record label for that. It all gets messier when you are into a 360-deal, because since the surge of the Internet, and online music stores, artists have realized all they really need is a Facebook/ Twitter account, a YouTube channel, and iTunes access. After that, all it takes is for you to be good enough, and the rest is history.

360 deals were made so that the labels can obtain as much money as they can from you. For example, labels do NOT get money from artists' live performances. Under a 360 deal, they would. Labels do NOT get money from, say, a T-shirt you sell. Under 360 deal they would.

So what if you are an artist under a 360 deal? Artists that are under a 360 deal, record labels DO get the proceeds from sites like Grooveshark. The problem you ask? The problem is that not everybody is under such deal...

Greed, my friends, greed.

Guest said:

I don't know if Grooveshark's service is legal or not. I dumped it because the quality of the music is very uneven. Many of the songs I listened to were recorded at a low bit rate and sounded awful. I subscribe to MOG, which costs $ but has a better interface, a bigger library, and much better sound quality.

BTW, if Google offers only a locker, I personally am not going to be too interested. I don't want to only listen to music I already own, I want access to anything I happen to want to hear.

Guest said:

Thanks for the info

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

@lawfer

Kudos, very well put.

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