There are one fewer streaming music services for listeners to choose from today as Grooveshark has abruptly shut down shop. The closure is a result of a settlement between parent company Escape Media Group and record labels Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group over a copyright infringement lawsuit.
In addition to shutting down the service, Grooveshark was forced to admit they were wrong, issue a formal apology to the music industry and encourage its users to seek out a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders.
The Recording Industry Association of America said this is an important victory for artists and the entire music industry. For too long, RIAA continued, Grooveshark built its business without properly compensating the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible.
As Re/code notes, a U.S. District Court judge last week told Escape Media that it could be liable for up to $736 million in damages after losing a copyright case. The company had to decide if it wanted to face that massive penalty or walk away free and clear. It chose the latter.
In Grooveshark’s farewell message, co-founders Josh Greenberg and Sam Tarantino noted that in 2007 when the service debuted, there were few music services that provided the experience they wanted to offer and thought fans deserved. That’s no longer the case as the music landscape has dramatically changed and there’s now a wealth of services to choose from.