YouTube Shuts Down Discord’s Two Largest Music Bots

Annie Lee, Staff Writer

Known for its low latency voice chats, custom emojis and engaging variety of bots, Discord has become a popular choice for anyone wishing to create or join online communities. Recently, popular music bots Groovy and Rythm have been forced offline for violating Google-owned YouTube’s third party terms of services of commercialization and profit.

Groovy, with over 250 million users, officially shut down on Aug. 30, and Rythm bot, with estimated 560 million users, closed on Sep. 15. The Discord music bots were coded to scrape YouTube videos and other platforms to provide music for users in Discord voice channels.

“Now that we received the letter, all music bots will be getting them too in the following weeks,” Rythm creator Yoav said in a Discord message to The Verge. “As someone that was a very early user on Discord, it’s hard to envision Discord without music bots. They’ve become key to the experience and bring so much fun and engagement to a community.”

“I used to use Groovy so I didn’t have to listen to ads while listening to music,” junior Joshua Ikehara said. “Now with the shutdown of common Discord music bots we just have to do more work to find bots that aren’t shutdown.”

Last year, YouTube and the Recording Industry Association of America shut down other YouTube download sites and tools for violating copyrighted content, such as YouTube-DL, a Python library that helps developers and users download videos files. However, YouTube-DL has since been reinstated, so the closed music bots may have a chance at revival. 

YouTube and Discord may be in the process of creating an alternative for music bots. Discord has revealed new plans for gaming together on servers, including a YouTube watch party. For now, some students have resorted to coding their own bots in place of Groovy and Rythm.

“My servers used Rythm bot all the time,” junior Alex Liu said. “Currently we’re using my own bot to continue listening to music. The members aren’t used to it because the commands are different, but it’s the best alternative we have.”