Grooveshark Redesign Gives Artists More Power, But Will It Be Enough?
Following copyright controversies with Facebook, Apple, and Google, Grooveshark is trying to win back users by giving its platform a design overhaul that gives artists more control over their music property. The redesign incorporates more social media than ever, including a partnership with Flattr to help artists receive monetary support from fans.
Competing with other popular music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio, Grooveshark’s new design aims to make music discovery more visual, social, and intuitive. It incorporates social features that, like Spotify, show what music your friends are listening to. The stream flows down the right column, and the lower bar displays the songs that you are currently playing or have in your queue.
Grooveshark now allows you to follow artists, friends, or musical influences and listen to what they’re sharing.
Grooveshark’s competitive edge at this point is that they still offer a stream that’s uninterrupted by ads, the ability to skip tracks as often as you want, and the ability to upload your own music.
In light of copyright issues that got Grooveshark banned from several platforms, artists on Grooveshark can now claim their musician profile, add their own songs, and delete ones that don’t belong to them. With Grooveshark’s partnership with micropayment service Flattr, fans can donate money to support artists. When you “Flattr” artists, you allot the amount of money you want to spend in a month and your budget will be divided among the artists you’ve Flattred so far.
This is great for independent musicians who want to share their music and build a fanbase away from MySpace and SoundCloud, but it will be difficult for major music labels to control their property.
The new Grooveshark incorporates larger photos, more functionality, and social integration, but searching for music on the site is still a little difficult. Since the site relies on user-uploaded content, you have to account for incorrect titles and artists. Grooveshark’s new features are a way to win back some credibility.
Grooveshark’s business model still isn’t totally sturdy, so it has to keep working to make for a good user experience and to stay within the bounds of copyright laws.