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Merlin: A Wizard A True Star

Merlin, the global digital agency for independent labels, has announced that it has paid out a billion dollars to members in less than ten years.

Formed in 2008, Merlin now acts on behalf of more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from 53 countries, including the likes of Beggars Group, Secretly Group, Domino, Kobalt Music Recordings, PIAS and many more.

The agency handles major accounts across the likes of YouTube, Red, Deezer, SoundCloud, Pandora, Vevo and Spotify, signing a new global multi-year licensing deal with the streaming giant in April this year.

In the 12 months to the end of March this year, Merlin distributed $353m to its members – the equivalent of almost $1m every day. The agency claims its combined membership now commands over 12% of the digital recorded music market.

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said: “It makes me immensely proud to reach this landmark. Like all the best independent labels, Merlin is run with passion, as a lean and efficient operation – albeit with an extensive and profound global responsibility. Our unique structure has empowered Merlin’s members to sit centre stage in the streaming market, while enabling digital music services to capitalise on the immense consumer demand for independent music”.

Caldas continued: “Even more inspiring is that this billion dollars in revenues comes only from the new-generation services that have launched since we did. In a market still in its early stages of evolution, the more significant growth is arguably yet to come”.

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