Cricket Communications and its Muve Music service has signed an agreement with the independent rights agency Merlin to bring its catalog to the Muve Music phone. The Muve Music library includes over two million songs, and should get a healthy boost from the Merlin library. Merlin lets digital music services such as Spotify, Rdio, Youtube, and Grooveshark license music from over 12,000 independent recording labels like Warp Records, One Little Indian, Yep Roc, XL Recordings, Merge and Domino Records. Merlin just signed a big deal with YouTube last week, so that Merlin artists can take part in the YouTube Merch Store.
The merch store idea is an interesting one, considering that one of the new "venues" for live performances and music offerings is the online venue, whether it's a live stream webcast through YouTube or a pre-recorded deal, it allows artists to make a living in new ways by offering an online music experience. Muve Music is another way of doing that, providing a library of music that automatically comes with a wireless subscription plan from Cricket Communications. The times they are a changin'.
Muve is the first unlimited music service to be included as part of a wireless rate plan, meaning that when you sign up for Cricket Communications wireless plan, you get automatically opted into the Muve music service. Merlin has a history of going to bat to defend independent labels, like when they announced intention earlier this year to go after $5 million from the LimeWire settlement. The major labels received $105 million in the settlement, but none of it made its way to Merlin artists.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.