Music streaming pioneer found dead at 28
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Music streaming pioneer found dead at 28

No foul play suspected in death of Josh Greenberg, co-founder of Grooveshark free streaming service

Grooveshark co-founder Josh Greenberg, who was found dead in his home on Sunday, July 19, 2015. (YouTube screen capture)
Grooveshark co-founder Josh Greenberg, who was found dead in his home on Sunday, July 19, 2015. (YouTube screen capture)

The 28-year-old Jewish co-founder of Grooveshark, an early leader in music streaming that enraged major labels by letting users upload copyrighted songs, was found dead on Sunday.

Josh Greenberg, who founded the now-defunct music service in 2006 along with two of his University of Florida friends, was found in bed by his girlfriend who had returned to their shared home after a weekend away, The Gainsville Sun reported Monday.

According to Lori Greenberg, his mother, Greenberg was in full health at the time of his death. No signs of foul play, injuries or drugs were found by police, she added.

Grooveshark, which at its peak claimed 30 million monthly users, abruptly shut down in May after years of litigation. One of the first sites that allowed users to listen to music on-demand for free, it faced a string of lawsuits from the three major conglomerates — Universal, Sony and Warner Music.

Grooveshark logo
Grooveshark logo

The website went dark to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in potential penalties, after reaching a settlement with the labels to avoid a jury trial in New York.

But his mother dismissed the possibility Greenberg had taken his own life in the aftermath of the company’s collapse, claiming he was more relieved than depressed about the settlement, as it had ended the long-looming lawsuit.

“He was excited about potential new things that he was going to start,” she told The Sun.

Grooveshark’s young, entrepreneurial spirit brought frequent media comparisons to Facebook with one founder who left the company, Colombian-born Andres Barreto, sometimes called the Latin Mark Zuckerberg.

Since Grooveshark’s inception, streaming has become increasingly mainstream. Industry leader Spotify, based in Sweden, launched in 2008 and now claims 60 million users, with 15 million paying for advertisement-free service.

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