Youtube Signs Deal With Indie Labels To Launch Subscription Service


After intense, allegedly ill-tempered negotiations, Youtube have finally signed a deal with Merlin, a group representing the interests of numerous independent record labels. The details of the deal are currently being kept under wraps by both Youtube and Merlin, but it's clear that this deal will enable Youtube to roll out it's subscription based music service – an attempt to challenge Spotify's dominance.

Youtube has been attempting to proceed with a subscription service for a year, however talks with independent labels broke down last month, with indie's accusing the group of weighting the deal in the favour of major labels. One particular sticking point was the “negative most-favored-nation” clauses that would have given YouTube the right to reduce royalty rates for all labels if just one of them agreed to a lesser deal.

According to the New York Times the new subscription service is likely to "include high-quality audio and the ability to save videos offline, and that it might be linked with Google Play Music All Access, the company’s Spotify-like, audio-only music service." Outside of that, what Youtube are offering – and what indie labels are getting – remains unclear.