Music streaming service Grooveshark has been decidedly out of the groove the last few years. As players like Spotify and Pandora came to dominate its industry, Grooveshark was sidelined by numerous legal battles with record companies. But the company is planning a turnaround for 2015, and will be debuting a new product that complies with the law: It’s an Internet radio service called Broadcasts.
Broadcasts will be the company’s “first compliant app,” says a Grooveshark spokesman. It will offer commercial-free streaming music, with playlists put together by users, that costs $0.99 per month. That could become a significant shot at Pandora, whose ad-free subscription service, Pandora One, costs $4.99 a month.
“We’re trying to show that we’re doing everything we possibly can to be a legitimate player here,” Grooveshark founder and chief executive Sam Tarantino told the Wall Street Journal.
Grooveshark has been around for eight years, and in that time, all the major record labels have sued its founders and parent company Escape Media Group for illegally uploading thousands of songs. Tarantino says that the company didn’t have the money to pay licensing fees. But even as it works through the legal disputes, Grooveshark is operating a $9 monthly service called VIP, which offers unlimited music streaming. The VIP app has been removed from the Apple and Google app stores because of its questionable legality.
The Broadcasts app will be completely legal, however, because Grooveshark will pay royalty rates through a system used by other streaming music services. And for that reason, it will be available on app stores–providing Grooveshark a legal way to generate revenue, and perhaps a second shot at being a big player in the streaming industry.