NOTE: GrowthBeat tickets go up $200 this Friday at 5pm Pacific. VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and register by Friday to save!
Streaming music service Grooveshark has launched a new design of its website this week with a new emphasis on a better social and search experience.
Grooveshark is different from other prominent streaming music services like Spotify, MOG and Rdio because it doesn’t have broad licensing agreements to play the majority of its music. Co-founder and CTO Josh Greenberg told us he considers the company more like “a YouTube for audio,” so it depends on users to upload music that can be enjoyed by the community. If a user uploads a file that he or she doesn’t own and it gets a DMCA complaint, Grooveshark takes the file down.
“We take a very open approach to music streaming,” Greenberg said. “As it stands, the site now has more flexibility, and we’re committed to building a community.”
The new website (take a glance above to see the new home screen) gives users easier access to the site’s estimated 15 million tracks. The search bar on the main page is easier than ever to access and now sometimes features slick-looking advertising. The prominent Explore tab shows off up and coming artists. There’s also a Community tab that makes it easier to see what everyone on the site is plugged into. The closest direct comparison is to Rdio’s social music approach that makes it easier to discover and talk about new songs.
Apple and Google have removed Grooveshark from their respective app stores because of copyright concerns, but the company’s mobile apps do have workarounds. Grooveshark on iOS works on jailbroken iPhones and iPod touches, while the Android mobile app can be downloaded direct from Grooveshark.
Gainesville, Fla.-based Grooveshark has seen strong growth even if it has had some copyright issues, and it now has between 30 and 35 million regular monthly users. It is almost entirely self-funded and has only raised two seed rounds worth about $6 million. Grooveshark has about 140 full-time employees.
Take a look at the gallery below for more photos that show off the new Grooveshark design: