Earlier this year, Stripe announced that its users would soon be able to accept Bitcoin payments from their customers. The private beta program was launched in the spring, and it looks like Grooveshark is one of the first eager businesses to adopt the new form of payment.
Reddit user cloud109 this past weekend posted a message he received from a community developer at Grooveshark. This developer said that the company was now accepting payment for premium subscriptions via Bitcoin. A quick glance at the Bitcoin website confirms that anyone upgrading to Bitcoin premium is now offered the opportunity to pay with Bitcoin along with the usual credit card or PayPal options.
The only downside is that you can’t get a recurring subscription if you’re paying with Bitcoin, so you have buy a new subscription every time. Not a big deal if you feel like ponying up $90 for a whole year, but kind of inconvenient if you’d prefer to pay for a monthly subscription.
The move to accept Bitcoin puts Grooveshark in a better position to compete with the likes of Spotify (which just announced plans to launch in Canada last week), however the company still doesn’t have the reputation of legitimacy enjoyed by Spotify, Rdio, iTunes or Google Play. The controversial service has faced multiple lawsuits from major labels alleging copyright infringement and the official Grooveshark app has been pulled from both the App Store and Google’s Play store. As it stands, iOS users need to have a jailbroken phone if they want to install the official Grooveshark app, and the download button on Grooveshark’s Android app page doesn’t point to the Play Store. Instead, it prompts a direct download of the APK. Mobile users not willing to jump through those hoops can still listen via the Grooveshark HTML5 web app, though.