Indie rights body Merlin is ramping up its US efforts with the announcement that former WMG exec Roger Gold will be its commercial and strategic advisor in the market. Gold spent 17 years at WMG, and played a key role in the company’s 360 and direct-to-consumer strategy. Merlin is hoping he’ll help the company expand its member labels’ 10% share of the digital music market in the US. “For Merlin this is a really significant appointment. As an executive, deal-maker and entrepreneur, Roger combines an extensive knowledge of the US market with a successful track record working with independent labels,” said CEO Charles Caldas. “With so much of our activity focused on the emergence of new US-based platforms, Roger’s experience will be a hugely valuable asset for Merlin and its members.” The key challenge for both Caldas and Gold will be to ensure more of those new platforms don’t launch without a Merlin deal, following several high-profile examples in recent years.

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