Grooveshark circumvents app stores with launch of HTML5 site
Grooveshark launched a new HTML5-based site enabling consumers to access its controversial streaming music catalog from any browser-enabled device, a move that circumvents the service's reliance on native applications.
Grooveshark lets users listen to copies of songs that have been uploaded by other consumers regardless of whether Grooveshark has licensed that particular track. Major record labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have all filed lawsuits against the service; a dedicated app for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS disappeared from the App Store in mid-2010, and has never returned. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) removed Grooveshark for Android from its Play store (then Android Market) in April 2011; the Android app briefly resurfaced last week, but once again vanished within a matter of hours.
Grooveshark said the new HTML5 site makes its full feature set and cloud-based music catalog available on any mobile device, with no software to download and no reliance on Adobe Flash. Consumers can choose between free access or premium, customizable options beginning at $6 per month. The mobile site is currently restricted to the U.S. market, with an international rollout planned for later this year.
Grooveshark's new HTML5-based site enables consumers to access its streaming music catalog from any browser-enabled device
Grooveshark's future remains in doubt, however. EMI Music has filed a new lawsuit accusing the company, alleging breach of contract and copyright infringement. Grooveshark licensed the EMI catalog in September 2009--the label alleges Grooveshark fell behind in its monthly payments and stopped providing sales data, prompting EMI to terminate the partnership in March 2012. The lawsuit claims Grooveshark has nevertheless continued distributing EMI content and allowing users to share tracks from the label's library.
"While we always strive to keep lines of communication open with rights holders, artists and all other interested parties, disagreements inevitably arise, as is true in any business, particularly one that is pushing for innovation and industry change," Grooveshark said. "We remain confident that we will be able to resolve our dispute with EMI."
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