Music Marketing

Grooveshark Introduces Video Engagement Platform To Promote Emerging Artists

Grooveshark-logoPopular and controversial music service Grooveshark has launched a Video Engagement Platform that is designed to both promote emerging artists and create a branded revenue stream. Sponsored videos are shown to highly active users who are given the option of watching a 15 to 60 second video ad and then being afforded 4 hours of ad-free music.

The program was tested with a group of indie bands and is now being offered more widely to artists including those with crowdfunding campaigns. It's an interesting way to monetize the service through relevant branded content.

Grooveshark is currently facing lawsuits from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music but that's not stopping them from moving ahead and exploring revenue models to support free music. Paid offerings have included listening ad-free or accessing Grooveshark via Android or Blackberry phones.

However, a more interesting approach featuring branded content is now being rolled out after a test period. Grooveshark's Video Engagement Platform will feature the option to pay a fee for extended ad-free service or watch a sponsored video featuring an emerging artist or group.


The Tenant's Mystery Mountain Analytics

Currently featured artists who also appeared during the one month test period include The Tenant, DWNTWN and Quiet Company. The Tenant's Dave Kay says:

"Our video view count jumped by more than 75,000 plays in a week and our Likes and comments more than quadrupled…It’s amazing the number of new fans we’ve gained just because people are seeing the video."

Given that the video is played in order to get ad-free music, it's the increase in engagement that suggests the real potential of this approach for promoting up-and-coming artists. Grooveshark consciously targets viewers who are the most active and the most likely to spread the word about new artists.  Currently about 8% of users are being offered the videos.

Alex Hoffman, Grooveshark’s Director of Artist Services, stated:

“Artists are always asking us for new ways to share their music with the world and connect with new fans. By involving our most engaged users, who are more likely to be influencers, these videos become a unique and powerful promotional tool for artists, labels, producers, brands, everyone involved…We’re just getting started, but over time we expect to connect fans, artists and music videos based upon musical tastes. Our goal is to make these as personal, relevant, and enjoyable as possible.”

Ideally the new Video Engagement Platform will allow Grooveshark to make money off sponsorships while continuing to support new artists.

It's usually better to get in early rather than late when such opportunities arise. Grooveshark wants to hear from both artists and brands who wish to participate and makes a special mention of bands "with Kickstarter or other support campaigns."

If you want in, contact

Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs about dance at All World Dance. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. Delete this story Clyde.
    Grooveshark steals from artists and Hypebot should NOT report on these thieves. They are BAD for the industry, BAD for everyone and do not pay for anything. They are not helping one emerging artist, major artist, label, or anyone else and they sue anyone who has the balls to disagree with them (IE DMN). Step out of line Hypebot and you’re next.

  2. Do not delete this story, Clyde. It’s a great way to show that instead of the labels ripping artists off that Grooveshark is trying to promote the MUSIC! Gaining fans will ensure that the band has a longer life doing what they love! “Truth” is terribly misinformed.. which isn’t shocking as most people are. Hey Truth – if they aren’t helping one emergist artist can you explain the quote from Tenant’s Dave Kay? hmm.. weird, right?! Great stuff, Clyde

  3. Okay Grooveshark employee/troll. Grooveshark DOES NOT PAY for content and HURTS artists, the memo is out on that — at least those that are paying attention. All advertisers should pull out of this scam against artists.

  4. I’m not going to delete the story, it was an assignment that I willingly accepted.
    That said, I totally spaced out on the legal action with Digital Music News. As far as I know to date they were subpoenaed but I’m trying to find out more.
    I have to admit, I also failed to recall some other incidents that would have made me look at this a bit closer in light of how they’re handling DMCA complaints and the like.
    To be perfectly frank, I tend to ignore news about:
    A) music services that are trying to stream all music possible because I think they’re boring, and
    B) suits involving major labels unless it’s against them for their transgressions.
    That said, I do need to find out more about this and establish a clearer perspective. Just promoting artists isn’t quite enough if they’re not paying out but I don’t know anything more specific about who’s getting paid what.
    If you have some references on the topic of money for indies, please pass them along.

  5. I work at Spotify and there is a quota of Grooveshark bashing they they assign to Truth said……
    Come on Truth said I don’t know if the post on DMN was true but how can you quote it as fact.
    I suspect an undertone of innuendo.

  6. Maybe I misunderstood you, but you seemed to be saying “I don’t know if the post on DMN was true but how can you quote it as fact.”
    I know you weren’t addressing me but were you saying that or saying someone else said that?
    If you’re saying that, I’m saying that this particular news topic on DMN is one I consider true.
    If not, never mind, cause nobody else said that!

  7. FYI.. Not a grooveshark employee.. I just pride myself on not sounding like a misinformed douchebag! I do my homework is all..
    As for the subpoena – when you make a huge allegation about the legality of a company and it’s employees then the company may want to verify that the supposed “source” isn’t someone just trying to discredit them with completely false information. Don’t write false information and maybe you won’t get slapped with a subpoena. That’s just good journalism.. Peace!

  8. I like what Grooveshark has to offer. They’re convenient (ie I don’t need to download any software), and they have always had what I’ve been looking for.
    That being said, everyone should be compensated for their work. Grooveshark should either pay a percentage of their income or pay a rate per play for each artist.

  9. What the fuck are you talking about? Its black and white, this company steals from artists. Period. There are thousands of websites out there developing emerging artists so don’t give us this bullshit that grooveshark is something special, they’re just a snake trying to pass as something else.
    This is not an assumption, this is the truth as confirmed by MULTIPLE former high ranking employees of the company. They’re a business trying to make as much money in the fastest possible way. Its way easier to make a lot of money if you steal that money from the artists that define you.

  10. Hahaha shows how much you know! That’s why you read about how fucking rich all those damn grooveshark people are! What were the names of those “high ranking” employees you mention?? Bc they don’t exist.. Just false accusations that have yet to be proven! Your ignorance is kinda cute though 😉 just better luck at something else..

  11. Exactly.. The source that provided info to DMN.. How did I not do my homework on that one? Are we both speaking the same language? I thought I mentioned the “source” giving false info.. Please advise

  12. Well its clear you arent someone “just doing research” as you’re saying. Your statements don’t fit that in any way. Now you know high ranking employees? Know who I am? Know for a fact my sources are false? Pretty bold statements from a person who claims they’re just someone “doing research.”
    You’re on a message board. You don’t know who you’re talking to so I’d be careful making assumptions, kinda like the assumption you are making in supporting the company from your “research.”
    Your ignorance is kinda cute though *wink*.

  13. I’d just love to know the names of the high ranking employees.. No need to get so feisty.. And I actually am just following the stories.. I truly don’t work there and if you weren’t such a psycho I’d post my name/fb whatever you’d like, doll face! I just think its funny how these GS people are supposedly making sooo much money off the artists and their “high-ranking” employees have some crazy dirt on them that they’re selling out to DMN of all places?!! If I had some huge allegations against someone and I was telling the honest truth than I’d have no problem coming forward! So don’t threaten me to be careful.. And don’t steal my lines.. Be original 😉

  14. I’m a girl btw.. And I just don’t believe the source was an employee.. That’s my opinion.. How are you so sure that it was?? I’ll send you the nicest edible arrangement ever if you’re right! Bc I’m super sweet like that!

  15. HA
    Its obviously have an agenda here to lie about Grooveshark . I read your posts and you are misinformed or plain lying. Now to set the record straight. There isnt anyone at Grooveshark making more than 50k per yr and Grooveshark never set quotas or gave bonuses based on uploads. Thats fact. What else Grooveshark steals from artists? give me your email I will send you a detailed list of all royalties Groovshark paid last quarter.

  16. Well Grooveshark aint actually shady. They are open about what they do and they dont want to pay, but still uses the music anyway. Its stealing, not shady. Wether you like their service or not…

  17. thanks clyde for not even pretending to report objectively and factually, wow, just wow.

  18. so the response to labels not paying artists as much as artists would like, is to allow Grooveshark to rip off artists directly and actually pay them NOTHING? Seriously? You guys have an odd sense of justice, don’t you think the way to empower artists is to actually PAY ARTISTS and RESPECT ARTISTS RIGHTS? OK, wow again.

  19. You know what feature I’d love to see Grooveshark introduce… Contracts and Payments for Artists… wow, that would be a great added feature!

  20. Hi,
    I can confirm that Grooveshark is paying artists!
    From my grooveshark’s content partner perspective, as we are providing contents to them, I can also confirm that grooveshark is paying more money for each stream than Spotify, Deezer or Rhapsody does.
    What I can see is that the established Industry who owns a 37% of Spotify shares, wanted to kill Grooveshark and most of this information about not paying or rewarding artist is not true and not fair
    Hope this helps to clarify wrong ideas (Truth)
    by the way good post!
    Jose Luis Zagazeta

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