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Merlin Conjures Spotify Deal

A multi-year licensing agreement between Spotify and independent label organisation Merlin has been agreed that will apparently offer the indies parity with major labels following Spotify’s recent deal with Universal Music Group.

Merlin represents over 20,000 indie labels, who collectively make up roughly 12 percent of the global digital music market. The deal will give Merlin’s members, including the likes of Beggars Group, Domino, Secretly Group, Sub Pop, improved access to data and marketing opportunities alongside the ‘flexible release’ option that was an integral part of the recent deal with UMG.

This was all about opening the windowing and completing a recent Spotify U-turn on exclusives, allowing Merlin’s label partners the ability to make new albums available only on the service’s premium paid for tier for the first two weeks after release. Following that, albums are made accessible to free tier users.

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said: “Merlin was a launch partner to Spotify back in 2008, and our partnership has thrived ever since. This new agreement lays the path to future sustainable growth for us both, and we look forward to remaining an integral part in the service’s continued success”.

In other Spotify news, a job ad posted by the streaming firm suggests it has plans to move into proprietary hardware, presumably to rival the likes of Amazon’s Echo’ devices.

The appallingly named Zatz not funny! website reported a recruitment ad for a Senior Product Manager – Hardware who will lead “an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo and Snap Spectacles”, meaning that the service potentially has plans to create some wonderful toys of its own.

Merlin also today announced a 25% reduction in administration fees for its members, dropping from 2.5% to 1.5% of revenues.

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