beatsmusicBeats Music, the recently-launched music streaming service, today entered a licensing deal with global rights agency Merlin, which represents the rights of a large segment of the independent music sector. The benchmark deal ensures that the 20,000+ leading independent labels and distributors represented by Merlin’s 600 members will enjoy parity with the world’s three major record labels, and builds upon the service’s stated commitment that it will pay the same royalty rate to all content owners.  “We are thrilled to be working with Merlin, Beats Music is committed to treating all artists and labels fairly and equally,” said Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers. “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.”

The independent sector is the fastest growing sector in today’s music business, representing not only a huge breadth and diversity of local music on a territory-by-territory basis, but also an increasing number of hit, commercial chart acts. Half of this year’s GRAMMY nominations went to acts not on a major label. Merlin’s membership represents the most commercially valuable basket of recorded music rights outside those held by the three major labels.  Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO said: “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.”

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