YouTube music service “coming within weeks”

YouTube will reportedly be ready to launch a new music subscription service within weeks, after signing a deal with one of the country’s largest representatives of indy labels.

According to The Financial Times, YouTube and Merlin, a rights agency representing 20,0000 indy labels, finally came to an agreement for the site to license music from the likes of Adele, the Arctic Monkeys and The xx.

The company had already struck deals with Universal, Sony and Warner, but reportedly felt it needed to get Merlin onboard to launch a successful product.

However, negotiations weren’t always amicable and in June, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations, said the company was preparing to block videos from the artists involved.

It seems that whatever barriers were in the way have now been overcome, with the FT reporting the final terms of the agreement were “substantially more favourable for Merlin than those in a contract leaked in June”, although the FT’s source declined to give any further detail.

The new deal means YouTube can start rolling out a service to rival Spotify Premium and Beats Music within the next few weeks, the FT’s source said.

As with Beats Music and Spotify Premium, the service will reportedly let you listen to music ad-free for a fixed amount of time every month, and will also include ad-free video streaming and the ability to save music for offline listening.

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