YouTube secures crucial deal with indie labels for streaming service

Google has seemingly removed one of the last major barriers to launching the long-awaited YouTube music streaming service.

The web video giant has agreed terms with the Merlin rights agency, which represents thousands of independent record labels around the world.

The agreement will give the service access to music from XL recordings, which represents Adele, and also Domino, the Arctic Monkeys’ label.

YouTube had already made agreements with the major labels; Universal, Sony and Warner and this latest accord gives it a full house.

The deal, according to a report in the Financial Times, ends months of bitter negotiations which saw YouTube threaten to remove the revenue-creating videos of artists whose labels refused to adhere to the terms offered. A compromise has now apparently been reached.

The company now seems all set to launch the streaming service and go on to rival the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Beats Music and the rest of the gang.

The FT says the paid YouTube subscription service will start to reach reach users in the next couple of weeks. Subscribers will then be able to listen to tunes, watch music videos and save music for offline listening without commercial interruption.

YouTube’s plans to enter the streaming sector comes during a growing debate over whether services like Spotify are helping or hindering artists.

Taylor Swift has removed her entire back catalogue from Spotify, claiming it fails to compensate artists and writers properly. Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says his service saved music from piracy.

Where do you stand?

Read more: Opinion: Why musicians hate Spotify

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor