Screencast: Early Look At 'Grooveshark' Music Service

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I’ve been playing around with the previously-reported Grooveshark music service for a little over a week now and I can safely say that, even though it’s still in the very early stages, I like it and I think it’s got a chance to become pretty popular.

There will undoubtedly be skepticism from some people as to the legality of a service like this but I’d advise you to head over to Grooveshark.com and check out the FAQ section and especially the forums before making any snap judgments. The business model is pretty unique and, in turn, a bit complicated. I read through a few forum posts and cobbled together the following description, which will hopefully help to explain a bit about how everything is structured…

“Person A types in the name of the song he is looking for in the Grooveshark search box. GS then finds who has the song on the network (keep in mind we are a true p2p network so the download comes from someone elses computer) and decides which user to download the song from based on their ranking in the system. This ranking is determined by how much input a user puts into the system such as fixing song tags. Once the song has been paid for, the appropriate royalties, that have been prenegotiated, are paid to the copyright holder of the song, Grooveshark takes its cut for brokering the transaction, and the user who’s library the song came from gets a cut of the transaction also…

Grooveshark comes in as a legal version of what’s already going on illegally…The exact same files that were once being shared freely within the illegal networks can be brought into our system, and once they’re in, any sharing that takes place inside Grooveshark results in the copyright holders being paid…

[Music labels] have seen what P2P can do, and they’ve been waiting years to successfully monetize it. Due to NDA’s on both sides of the table, I can’t disclose anything specific regarding the labels we’re speaking with but haven’t yet signed, but I can say that we have met with a few labels from the big four recently and they have been very receptive to our business model.”

I have beta invites if anybody would like to test the service out. Just e-mail doug at crunchgear dot com and I’ll shoot one over to you.

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