We've been hearing that YouTube would be launching a subscription service "soon" for months. But the devil is always in the details; and closing deals with all the major music groups had been illusive for the Google subsidiary. Launch date got a lot closer today after the reported completion of a deal with Merlin, the umbrella group representing more than 2000 independent labels. As we reported this summer, negotiations with Merlin's indie consortium were often contentious, and at several points reached a public impasse. Many in the independent community have long felt they were not being fairly compensated by YouTube...

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