YOUTUBE'S plans to introduce a paid subscription service have now been accelerated by the news that a deal with Merlin, the umbrella company representing thousands of independent record labels, has been agreed.

The months of "acrimonious" negotiations according to the Financial Times had actually highlighted the bigger issue here - the fair reward of music makers. A topic that will no doubt remain a contentious one.

It is believed the Google subsidiary is taking the Spotify route - users will be able to pay for a premium service without adverts and can download and store videos for offline viewing.

Whether or not YouTube can make this an attractive option for the music public remains to be seen. Let us hope they don't annoy the hell out of regular users with ads galore in order to force more premium subscriptions.