Apple reaches streaming deal with indie group

Adele Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The deal paves the way for artists such as Adele to feature on Apple Music

Apple has reached an agreement with two leading indie music groups, paving the way for thousands of labels to join its new streaming service.

Beggars Group and Merlin both indicated their approval of Apple's new offer.

On Monday, Apple reversed its decision not to pay artists for songs streamed during a free trial period offered to users, following criticism from singer Taylor Swift.

Beggars Group said it was "happy to endorse" the new deal with Apple.

The company manages some of the best-known indie labels, with artists such as Adele, Radiohead and Basement Jaxx on its XL Recordings label.

In a statement, chairman Martin Mills said: "We are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future."

Digital rights group Merlin looks after more than 20,000 independent record labels.

In a letter published by Billboard, Merlin chief executive Charles Caldas said: "Apple has made a decision to pay for all usage of Apple Music under the free trials on a per-play basis, as well as to modify a number of other terms that members had been communicating directly with Apple about.

"With these changes, we are happy to support the deal."

Mr Caldas stressed that it was for individual labels in the group to decide if they wanted to join the service.

Apple is preparing to launch Apple Music on 30 June.

It had originally planned not to pay artists for songs streamed during a three-month free trial offered to users, but changed its decision after Taylor Swift wrote an open letter criticising the company.

Google has responded by offering subscription-free access to its music-streaming service, Google Play Music, in the United States.

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