U.K. trade body the Association of Independent Music has forged a deal with the U.K. Podcasters Association to promote full-length tracks to licence for legal podcasts.

As part of the deal, UKPA members have preferential access to take out a license from AIM covering the use of music from more than 200 member labels, including Beggars Group, V2, XL Recordings, !K7 and Cooking Vinyl.

AIM's podcast licence covers the use of more than 30,000 tracks in podcasts, including works by the White Stripes, Paul Weller, Bloc Party, Mylo, Basement Jaxx, Editors and Stereophonics. Terms were not disclosed.

AIM initially launched a trial podcast license in December 2005.

The new agreement, unveiled Wednesday, represents significant progress both for the burgeoning podcast industry, and for developing a viable revenue stream for the independent music community.

"This is a step forward for the whole of music podcasting in the U.K.," he said UKPA chairman Dean Whitbread in a statement. "It raises the bar for music podcast program making."

AIM chairman/CEO Alison Wenham described UKPA as "a partner who appreciates that music should be properly licensed." She added, "AIM's licence allows full tracks to be used in Podcasts, which is what consumers and Podcasters want."

The non-profit UKPA media industry trade group was established in April 2006 in response to licensing and legislative concerns within the podcasting field. It claims to currently represent more than one half of the 500-plus independent podcasters in Britain, and is affiliated with Irish, German, Swedish and Spanish national groups.

AIM, founded as a non-profit trade body in 1998, currently boasts 800 members from across the British independent music industry.