EMI terminates contract with Grooveshark

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Grooveshark’s luck is running out, with their last major record label partner, EMI, terminating its contract with the company. Without any major record label support, the streaming music service’s future is now even more uncertain than it was ever before.

Just in case you haven’t heard of the site, Grooveshark is an online, arguably legal, ad and subscription supported music streaming service which gained all of its content via user uploads. It was seemingly legal because Grooveshark used subscription and advertisement funding to pay record labels a royalty for user-uploaded music.

Grooveshark’s payments, however, had become especially patchy in recent times. EMI had also recently claimed in a court-case that Grooveshark had missed a $100,000 payment, with them suing to  attempt to finally receive the missing payments.

Their only option now is to remove all EMI music, something that will likely lose more users to competitor’s services. The unique difference with this forced removal on Grooveshark and, say, a removal from Rdio or Spotify is that users can continue to upload music from EMI, with the only way to remove the content being separate DCMA take-down requests, similar to what copyright holders do with YouTube.

The future for Grooveshark isn’t looking bright, especially with continued competition from Spotify, Rdio and other services in Australia such as JB-HiFi Now. All we can hope for is that record labels go soft on the ailing company. But that is unlikely.