As of today Grooveshark has shut down in Germany. According to their website, they did so because because of “excessive operating costs”. They continue to imply that this is the fault of the GEMA, and suggest to get in touch with them to help bring down these costs.
It would appear they are referring to the recently announced rates for streaming services (as mentioned in a previous post). Which is kinda funny, given that they don’t even pay any license fees to the GEMA in the first place. As the GEMA says in their press release in response to Grooveshark’s accusations:
Grooveshark has shut down their service in Germany – contrary to their claims – not because of excessive operating costs.
In fact, Groovshark refuses generally to pay any fees whatsoever for their service. Grooveshark has never even been in touch with the GEMA in any way yet. (source)
So what Grooveshark forgets to mention is that they don’t, never did, and probably never wanted to give money to the artists that they have on their website. Contrary to streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, or Simfy, Grooveshark do not have deals with the labels, nor do they pay any royalties. In fact, they are being sued by all 4 majors because of that.
Here’s the message that Grooveshark shows to visitors with German IP adresses:
At the bottom they recommend that German users should use Simfy instead. Here’s what Simfy says on their blog:
simfy AG today announced a transatlantic collaboration with US-based Escape Media Group and its music streaming service Grooveshark. In response to Germany’s music streaming regulatory environment, Grooveshark.com has begun referring visits from German IP addresses to simfy.de. The goal of the agreement is to provide German music fans with continued streaming access to the songs and artists they love. (source)