YouTube secures music from Arctic Monkeys, Adele and SUBTRKT for streaming service

Joe Hall
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YouTube director Robert Kyncl had threatened to take artists off the site (Source: Getty)
A YouTube music streaming service to rival Spotify now seems inevitable after the Google-owned website struck a key music licensing deal.
Following a bumpy negotiation process, the video streaming site has finally reached an agreement with rights agency Merlin who represent thousands of independent music labels.
According to a report in the Financial Times, a deal has been agreed in recent days. YouTube will now be able to bring music from Adele, Arctic Monkeys, SBTRKT and Sigur Ros to a subscription-based streaming service.
The agreement comes after YouTube deployed some aggressive tactics during heated negotiations with Merlin. In June the website threatened to start taking down videos by artists on record labels that hadn’t signed up to licensing terms for its new streaming service.
Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations, argued it was offering rights holders a good deal but that those didn’t think so and refused to sign up would be blocked from the platform.
However, the agreement with Merlin appears to have paved the way for YouTube to push ahead with its subscription-based streaming service with music from the world’s biggest independent artists secured.
YouTube’s new service will now be launched within weeks, according to the FT.
It is expected that YouTube will offer users who pay a subscription fee unlimited access to a library of songs and music videos free of charge.
Earlier in the day Spotify revealed it had 50m active users, 12.5m of whom were paying subscribers.
YouTube and Merlin did not respond to City AM’s requests for comment.
After Taylor Swift pulled her back catalogue of music from the service, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek defended its business model by arguing it had paid out of $2bn (£1.2bn) to the music industry to date.
YouTube and Merlin did not respond to City AM’s requests for comment.

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