Merlin Network

Last updated on 23 May 2017

Merlin Network is the global digital rights agency for the world's independent label sector, with a membership accounting for more than 12% of the global recorded music market.[1] It was established to allow digital services the opportunity to globally license – via a single deal, instead of hundreds of individual local deals – commercially successful independent music labels from across the world.[2]

Launched in 2007, after the appointment of current chief executive Charles Caldas, the organisation now has over 700 members from 42 countries.[3] It also represents more than 20,000 independent labels and aggregators worldwide, including Beggars Group, Domino, Epitaph, !K7, Kobalt Label Services, Marquee Music Group, Merge, Ninja Tune, PIAS, Secretly Group, Sub Pop, and Warp.[4]

On their behalf, Merlin has licensed digital services including SoundCloud, YouTube Red, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Deezer, Vevo, KKBOX and Guvera, and reached copyright infringement settlements with, among others, Limewire, XM Satellite Radio and Grooveshark.[5]

The organisation operates on a non-exclusive basis, and its stated remit is to “enhance the value of our members rights in deals that cannot be easily negotiated locally or individually, or are not covered adequately by existing arrangements.”[6]

Merlin is owned and controlled by a not-for-profit foundation, supervised by a member-elected board of 15 individuals - five each from North America, Europe and Rest of the World.[7] The current chairman is Beggars Group founder Martin Mills.[8]

Merlin has been recognised by the music and technology sectors.[9] The organisation was named ‘Independent Champion’ at both the 2015 and 2016 A2IM Libera Awards,[10] while CEO Charles Caldas received the IMPALA annual outstanding contribution award in 2013.[11]


  1. ^ "Members of Merlin Report Digital Gains in Annual Survey". Billboard. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  2. ^ "What We Do". Merlin Network. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Meet The Team: Merlin". PIAS. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Merlin Announces 20% Reduction In Administration Fee For Members". Mi2N. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Merlin Announces 20 Percent Price Cut For Members". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  6. ^ "How It Works". Merlin Network. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Martin Mills Re-elected Chair Of Merlin". M Magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Martin Mills". Impala Music. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  9. ^ "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies". Fast Company. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Alabama Shakes (ATO) And Kamasi Washington (Brainfeeder) Were The Top Winners At A2IM’s Biggest Libera Awards Yet". Vents Magazine. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Impala Annual Outstanding Contribution Award Goes To Merlin’s CEO Charles Caldas". Impala. Retrieved 22 June 2016.

External links

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