Merlin boss Charles Caldas: ‘The majors seem to be three years behind us’
Charles Caldas, CEO of indie licensing agency Merlin, sees a host of digital opportunities for independent music companies in the year ahead – but also some looming threats. Caldas gave a keynote speech at indie body...
April 26, 2017
Indie labels renew Spotify licensing deal with ‘parity of access’
Spotify recently agreed a new licensing deal with Universal Music, although it remains locked in negotiations with rivals Sony Music and Warner Music. But what about the 'fourth major' – independent labels, as represented...
April 20, 2017
Internationalising Indies: advice for labels going global
According to indie licensing agency Merlin, 40% of its member labels now make more money outside their home territory than inside it, compared to 16% in the industry’s purely-physical days. At the recent NY:LON Connect...
February 1, 2017
The future for labels? ‘The enemy that we have is kittens!’
Recorded-music revenues may be on the up again, but how do labels need to evolve to ensure that translates into a rosy future? It was one of the main topics on the agenda at our NY:LON Connect conference this morning in London. Our...
January 24, 2017
vKontakte gets indies licensed through Merlin deal
Russian social network vKontakte has continued its move towards licensed-music legitimacy, thanks to a new deal covering Merlin’s roster of independent labels. The agreement, brokered through United Media Agency, covers...
October 21, 2016
Merlin expands to Japan: ‘An incredibly vibrant market’ (interview)
Independent licensing agency Merlin has set up shop in Japan, opening an office in Tokyo. It is headed up by Haji Taniguchi, who was previously president of Avex Music Publishing, as well as chairing industry body the Music...
October 11, 2016
Pandora signs direct deals with Sony, Universal and indie labels
Pandora's plans to launch an on-demand music-streaming service are several steps nearer this afternoon, thanks to the company's latest licensing deals. Pandora has signed direct agreements with major labels Sony Music...
September 13, 2016
Kill Rock Stars attacks Spotify’s “crappy” per-stream rate for indies
Just when we thought label attacks on Spotify were calming down and everyone was playing nice again, the president of Kill Rock Stars (home to Elliott Smith, Bratmobile, Deerhoof, Sleater-Kinney, Gossip and more) has charged...
August 18, 2016
Merlin hails 73% rise in streaming revenues for indie labels
Independent licensing agency Merlin has published the results of its annual membership survey, with the headline figure being 73% year-on-year growth in streaming revenues for its member labels to $232m. Streaming is now...
June 17, 2016
Merlin gets new board members as chairman Mills is reappointed
Indie licensing agency Merlin announced its latest board election results yesterday, revealing new board members and the re-election of its chairman Martin Mills. Those new board members are Darius van Arman (Secretly...
November 18, 2015
Pandora / Merlin deal may be benchmark for new royalty rates
Pandora’s share price jumped yesterday after a ruling by the US Register of Copyrights regarding the upcoming process to set new webcasting royalty rates. Pandora has been told it CAN submit its direct deal with indie licensing...
September 22, 2015
Merlin and WIN support indie licensing deals with Apple Music
Apple’s promise to pay royalties during the three-month free trial of its Apple Music streaming service has won over indie licensing agency Merlin. In a letter to members that leaked last night, CEO Charles Caldas explained:...
June 24, 2015