Talking tech since 2003

The other day I got an email from Grooveshark, apparently I had a new follower on an account I never use.  I was curious to see who followed me on the service, so I clicked the link, took a quick peek, went to close the page only then to be greeted with a dialog box telling me the page just loaded and went on to ask me if I was sure I really wanted to close the page.  Of course I’m sure I want to close the page.

Intrigued by the message, I went back to Grooveshark and waited a bit longer, went to close the page, again the same message appeared. So I tried again, this time I waited a full minute, then I went to close the page — no message this time.  It seems the script to encourage you to stay on their website disables itself after you have been on the site for at least 30 seconds.

really-grooveshark

Seriously, these are the kind of tactics those drive-by marketing scheme sites use: “Are you sure you want to leave this page? Save 50% on this ebook if you stay!” While Grooveshark’s message isn’t quite as bad (and it does time out after a period of time), the fact they have implemented such a measure to get people to stay on their site (even slightly) longer shows there are some serious problems at Grooveshark.

I understand the company is facing fierce competition in the space, from Spotify, Pandora, Google, and potentially even Apple in the near future, but that doesn’t mean it has to nag people to stay on its website.

What do you think?  Should Grooveshark be using these kind of tactics to keep users from leaving the site too quickly?

Update: According to a comment by a Grooveshark developer, this measure has been implemented to keep bad/malicious ads from redirecting users away from the site without their consent.  Apparently, Grooveshark uses many ad networks and will occasionally get a bad advertisement in their ad serving system which can do things such as redirect users away from Grooveshark.com.  The Grooveshark team has taken numerous steps to prevent harm to users, one of those being the prompt which I mentioned above.  If you know a better way to stop ads from redirecting unsuspecting users, please reach out the Grooveshark team.


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