Grooveshark was an online music streaming service operated by Escape Media Group. Users were able to upload, search for and stream digital audio files for free. Grooveshark also had a search engine and a sharing feature that allowed users to share songs or playlists via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
Grooveshark had a music recommendation feature called Grooveshark Radio that helped users find similar songs. Songs could either be played immediately or saved to playlists for future listening.
During Grooveshark's early years, the website functioned as a paid music service. Its content was taken from a peer-to-peer network called "Sharkbyte." While it positioned itself as a legal alternative to several peer-to-peer networks, the legality of its business model was questioned from its inception.
On Jan. 6, 2010, Universal Music Group filed a lawsuit against Grooveshark concerning the latter's use of the recording company's pre-1972 recordings. While Grooveshark won the lawsuit, the company was then sued by Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music Publishing and Warner Music Group for copyright violations. Several concerns about copyright issues pushed Facebook and Apple to remove official Grooveshark applications from the Facebook platform and the iOS App Store respectively.
On April 30, 2015, Grooveshark announced that its website would be shut down immediately as part of a settlement between the online streaming service and Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. The ownership of Grooveshark's website, service and related intellectual property was transferred to the recording companies.