Chevrolet: “We Are No Longer Affiliated with Grooveshark In Any Manner”

Chevrolet has now severed all ties with Grooveshark, and discontinued a lucrative advertising campaign with the company.  In an email received by Digital Music News on Tuesday afternoon, an executive at parent group General Motors declined to offer any specific reasons for the discontinuation, but was absolutely clear on the pullout.  “Chevrolet is no longer affiliated with Grooveshark in any manner,” the terse email confirmed.

The abrupt move appears motivated by Grooveshark’s extremely artist-unfriendly reputation, one that could easily tarnish the Chevrolet brand.  That said, other discussions may have been happening in the background, from any number of companies unfriendly to Grooveshark.  Other major corporations recently severing ties include Apple and Google, both of whom prevent Grooveshark from having a competitive app presence.

Which is exactly where Chevrolet stepped into a pile of brand-unfriendly controversy.  On March 20th, Digital Music News discovered a splashy advertising campaign with heavy Chevy branding, one specifically designed to bolster Grooveshark’s HTML5, app-free workaround.  The web-based mobile solution directly challenged the Apple and Google bans, and was a direct snub at litigating enemyUniversal Music Group.

This is what the Grooveshark site looked like on March 20th.

Shortly after that report was filed, the campaign appeared to be yanked.  Chevrolet initially pointed Digital Music News to a Canadian-only campaign (the report was first filed in Toronto), with broader North American (or even global) plans unclear.  That suggests some IP-related, location-specific confusion, though the latest correspondence confirms a broad, global pullout.

Dangling in the background is Universal Music Group, an extremely aggressive litigant against Grooveshark.  Whether UMG played any role in the Chevrolet pullout is unclear, though whispers suggest that the label strongly pressured Apple and Google to sever their ties with Grooveshark or risk broader licensing issues.  That has led Grooveshark to allege ‘tortious business interference,’ and even implicate Digital Music News as a co-conspirator in court proceedings.

15 Responses

  1. Visitor

    There are thousands of other companies out there willing to take the dive.

  2. What's up your tahoe

    I think it was because of the car i jammed up the dealers ‘tail-pipe’ when i ended my long-time relationship with the brand…That and everyone i know agreeing to not buy/lease from them because of the co-op. That they would even consider them, even for a ‘Canada only’ roll-out is beyond reproach. I am happy they killed this abortion of an idea, but am still weary. That it got as far as it did points to some incredibly poor research (err none at all?) on their part.

    • Randy

      I did them one better. I went to the local car dealership and after failing to receive what I deemed an adequate response, I set about discreetly pouring kerosene all over their cars (starting with the SUVs, because you know, global warming). Then I deftly entered each vehicle and turned the cd player to LL Cool J’s “Deepest Bluest (Shark’s Fin)”. As the sound grew from slightly grating to an unavoidable roar from every vehicle, I grabbed my megaphone and yelled “THIS ONE IS FOR YOU, GROOVESHARK!”. Somehow I suspect they could still hear the strike of the match over the music right before it hit the first car. They definitely heard my maniacal laughing.


    2 things that seem to elicit a response from the pro-pirate camp:
    Piracy is a FOR-PROFIT operation.
    And creating an awareness campaign that drives advertisers away from their sites.
    2 things the general public does not seem to know or understand about piracy:
    Piracy is a FOR-PROFIT operation.
    A Chevy Ad or any ad from a Fortune 500 Company doesn’t mean the site is legitimate.

    • Visitor

      Having ads does not make it a for-profit operation. They have to pay for bandwidth expenses somehow.

      • visitor

        For-profit doesn’t mean profitable. Grooveshark must be treading water on margin. How else could they pay the lawyers, bandwidth and employees. It’s not like we are hearing about any investments coming in.
        If the exit of the business talent last year signaled anything, it was that Grooveshark has no growth potential. Unfortunately, the ceo can still run the company and stuff his pockets. And with big ads unlikely in the future, I can’t imagine anyone left on the ad sales team is worth their salt. Grooveshark won’t die until the courts kill them, or they can’t break even on remnant ads.

        • FarePlay

          Visitor(s) weak, really weak guys.
          The small time guys who can only subvert enough revenue from someone else’s work, i.e. musicians, filmmakers, etc., to pay for their bandwith or legal fees are ok?
          They all really want to be Kim Dotcom, without the hassles.
          And you really don’t want to have this conversation anyway, do you, because it changes the conversation. Free just isn’t so cool when someone is feed off someone else’s pain for their personal profit.

          • fat strap

            From the Groove — Rumor has it that Grooveshark will be aquired soon.

          • v1.0

            maybe, maybe not: the acquirer might want to wait till the legal stuff clears.
            investors won’t touch GS because all their money would go to lawyers
            advertisers are now on guard despite the juicy audience

          • visitor

            really? Acquired soon? I’m sure deezer or spotify is chomping at the bit, right? Just as soon as UMG makes nice, because, you know, they can break bands now. Or maybe they’ll finally close that next round at a billion dollar valuation. Nevermind a federal lawsuit that claims the founders seeded the database and that employees systematically uploaded infringing material.

            In the old days they’d have been bought anyway. Everyone is a little wiser now.