grooveshark free music streaming alternative
Music streaming service Grooveshark issues public apology and suggests alternative sites to usersCC

Popular music streaming service Grooveshark has shut down following conflicts with the music industry over licensing agreements.

The closure follows a six-year legal battle between music labels and Escape Media, Grooveshark's parent company.

Grooveshark issued a public apology on its website on Thursday (30 April), urging its users to turn to alternative streaming services that have the correct licensing agreements in place.

"Despite best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes," the statement read. "We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologise. Without reservation.

"At the time of our launch, few music services provided the experience we wanted to offer - and think you deserve. Fortunately that's no longer the case. There are now hundreds of fan friendly, affordable services available for you to choose from, including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody and Rdio, among many others."

As part of the settlement with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group, Escape Media agreed to get rid of all of the copyrighted works and hand over ownership of the Grooveshark website, mobile apps and intellectual property.

If the terms of the settlement are violated, Escape Media is liable to pay up to $75m ($49m) in damages to the record labels.

"If you love music and respect the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders," Grooveshark's statement concluded.

"It has been a privilege getting to know so many of your and enjoying great music together. Thank you for being such passionate fans."