songlAnother day, another new streaming music service – and yet another that’s drawing fire from licensing body Merlin for disrespecting independent labels. Songl is the guilty party this time round. The service has launched commercially in Australia, although it’s been available in closed beta since late 2011. It’s a joint venture between the local operations of Universal Music and Sony Music, working with radio network Southern Cross Austereo, and is a Spotify-style blend of premium and ad-supported streaming music. “We think we can get some really good traction sooner rather than later,” its parent company’s CEO Mark Shaw tells Billboard, which reports that some indie labels have been licensed by the service. Merlin is distinctly unimpressed by the lack of a wider deal for its members. “Spending anything on this service is a simple waste of money,” says CEO Charles Caldas. “Merlin tried to have a discussion with the major label proprietors of Songl to license our music, but they simply haven’t bothered to do so.”