Apple reportedly inks deals with indie label Beggars and rights group Merlin for its streaming music service

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Apple has reportedly signed up indie music company Beggars Group and digital rights organization Merlin for its upcoming streaming music service, according to Billboard.

This could be huge. Beggars Group owns many major labels including 4AD, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, and XL Recordings. Merlin represents over 20,000 labels and distributors in more than 40 countries.

News of the deal comes just a day after Apple ceded to Taylor Swift’s open letter criticizing its policy to not pay rights holders during Apple Music’s three month trial period for listeners.

Beggars Group had, until now, stood opposed to Apple’s deal for the same reason. Only a week ago, the company said in a blog post:

Whilst we understand the logic of their proposal and their aim to introduce a subscription-only service, we struggle to see why rights owners and artists should bear this aspect of Apple’s customer acquisition costs.

We’ve contacted Apple for confirmation and will update this post when we hear back.

➤ Apple Music Signs Beggars Group, Merlin: Sources [Billboard]

Read next: Apple responds to Taylor Swift’s open letter, promises to pay royalties during free trial



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