Against all odds, Grooveshark lives on to grab music from all over the internet to be played by whomever visits their site. Grooveshark doesn’t do much more than that, though, and with a landscape full of other music-providing options that also instinctively recommend new music to you, host various channels/stations for niche interests, and allow you to take the experience with you on the go through mobile apps (not to mention, doing all that while still playing by the labels’ rules), it’s not too surprising to learn that Grooveshark is about to try and reinvent itself.
Yes, the new Grooveshark does many of the things Spotify and Pandora have done from day one while still maintaining its sketchy source material of plundered music from the internet’s depths. The new version of the site allows you to browse genre stations, save playlists, makes recommendations based on your listening habits (provided you create a free profile), and an accompanying mobile site allows you to do all of this on your phone without the hassle of a mobile app (since Grooveshark is [and always will be] banned from both the iTunes and Play app stores).
So what’s actually new here? Well, MusicWeek reports that Grooveshark, in its usual flippant style, has partnered with Flattr to allow uses to “tip” artists they like. Who needs ASCAP when you’ve got a tip jar right there on the home page?! The new site also provides artists the opportunity to create official profiles that will allow them to manage their own content that they find on the site and interact directly with fans. Both of these new “features” are clearly attempts by Grooveshark to get artists on board with its model while keeping its back to the labels and their myriad complaints (and lawsuits) against the site.
It’s pretty laughable if Grooveshark thinks that this could replace any kind of real royalty scheme that should be in place to compensate artists for the work Grooveshark uses to pull in users (and sell advertising, it’s only revenue base). Add to it that there’s no explanation as to how payments made to Flattr are relayed back to the artists you’re listening to or how artist profiles will be verified and we’ve got a whole lot of uncertainty. And yet, the site continues on.
Try out the new Grooveshark now (or don’t!).