US streaming music service Rdio has issued an official statement in response to today’s criticism from indie licensing agency Merlin.Rdio launched officially today with all four majors on board, and a group of independent distributors including IODA, IRIS, Finetunes, INgrooves and The Orchard.However, it doesn’t have a deal with Merlin, which counts the likes of Beggars Group, Rough Trade, Warp Records and Epitaph among its members, leading to Merlin CEO Charles Caldas to label the lack of a deal “incredibly disappointing”.Here’s Rdio’s response to Merlin’s statement:”Rdio plans to offer its subscribers the widest range of music and today we announced the addition of five new indie aggregators bringing our total collection to seven million songs. It is our policy not to comment on specific deal negotiations until they’re completed, so we hope MusicAlly readers will understand our reluctance to provide further detail.”Merlin got into an identical row with MySpace Music when it launched last year, before eventually inking an agreement. Rdio’s statement would seem to imply that it IS negotiating with Merlin still. Going public may be a bargaining tactic on Merlin’s part, in other words, although Music Ally gathers that the disappointment among its key members about missing the launch is genuine.

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