Indie licensing body Merlin has had cross words for several streaming music services down the years, when they launched without its repertoire. Beats Music, however, joins Spotify in its good books. The pair revealed a licensing deal yesterday, although it’s been active since Beats Music’s launch on 21 January. Beats is brandishing the deal as another step setting it above rivals: “While other services may try to get away with paying independent labels and artists less, we’re paying all repertoire-owners equally because it’s the right thing to do,” said CEO Ian Rogers, while Merlin boss Charles Caldas hailed Beats’ “refreshing, and enlightened approach to recognising the value of a Merlin deal”. While it’s early days for Beats Music, the deal is likely to contribute to the growth of Merlin’s collections for its indie members this year. At Midem, AIM/WIN boss Alison Wenham said that Merlin’s collections “will pass $80m last year, and it will probably double that this year”.

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