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Merlin confirms Beats deal with parity to the majors

By | Published on Friday 7 February 2014

Beats Music

If you, like CMU HQ, have a “which streaming services are evil this week?” board in your office (which, post MIDEM, is presumably headlined with YOUTUBE), then it’s time to take Beats Music off the list. I say this just in case, like us, you added them there last weekend after seeing that God awful Super Bowl ad they ran.

But Beats should now be on your “which streaming services are lovely this week” list, though we don’t sully ourselves compiling such a silly thing. The loveliness, though, was confirmed yesterday by indie label digital negotiator Merlin, which confirmed that the new streaming platform was offering the 600 labels and distributors it represents (which together represent over 20,000 indies) the same deal as the big bad major record companies.

That deal applies from the day the Beats service went live Stateside last month, and on it the boss of the streaming set up, Ian Rogers, told CMU: “We are thrilled to be working with Merlin, Beats Music is committed to treating all artists and labels fairly and equally. 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”.

Meanwhile Merlin chief Charles Caldas added: “Ian and the team at Beats have taken a refreshing and enlightened approach to recognising the value of a Merlin deal, and we are excited to be in business with them. As a result of our deal, not only do the users of Beats Music have access to an extraordinary range of music from the world’s best independent labels and artists, but the labels we represent have an opportunity to benefit from the success of the service on a truly equal footing to our major label competitors”.

But who will take Beats’ place on the evil list next week? Tune in same time same place in seven days time to find out. Assuming YCAES (the Yorke Campaign Against Evil Streamers) returns our calls to tell us.