Indie label group Merlin celebrates its 10th birthday with hires and history

Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, is sending out a 10th-birthday notice. To mark the milestone, Merlin is announcing three hires:

  • Marta de la Hoz, Head of Reporting
  • Chaida Kapfunde, Head of Technology & Development
  • Quentin Martins, Member Operations Manager.

Merlin now operates with a total  staff of 21 people, with offices in Amsterdam, London, New York, and Tokyo. Merlin had three employees when it started in 2008.

Merlin is an agency of representation for “tens of thousands” of independent record labels in 53 countries. That footprint represents a 12% share of the global recorded music market. It has distributed over a billion dollars to its member clients.

The company provided a timeline of its decade-long work, copied below.

October 2011 – Merlin licenses Google Play store and appears alongside Universal and EMI at the Los Angeles press conference announcing the service.

February 2012 – Merlin announces landmark multi-million dollar settlement with LimeWire, the first time independents have participated in a settlement of copyright infringement claims against a global peer-to-peer service at this level.

February 2013 – Merlin, IMPALA and Warner announce deal to strengthen independent sector in a post-merger market.

January 2014 – Merlin adds it 600th member, and its first members from Nigeria, India, Greece and South Korea. Merlin now represents companies from 39 countries.

June 2015 – Merlin presents its 2015 members survey, announcing that digital is, for the first time, the main source of revenue for the majority of its members.

October 2016 – Merlin opens its Japanese office, having established its New York office exactly two years previously.

April 2017 – Merlin signs new multi-year licensing agreement with Spotify ahead of Sony and Warner, ensuring that its members will remain at the core of the streaming service’s offering.

August 2017 – Merlin announces its billionth dollar in distributions to its members since opening for business.

March 2018 – Merlin announces landmark non-exclusive partnerships with China’s five leading digital music services: NetEase Cloud Music (NetEase Cloud Music), Xiami (Ali Music Group), QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo (all Tencent Music Entertainment).

Brad Hill

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