Independent music digital rights agency Merlin has announced that it has paid out $300m to its independent label members over the past 12 months – an eightfold increase on the $36m paid out in the calendar year of 2012.
Interesting to note that this 12 month run-rate is also up $68m on the $232m Merlin paid out to its members in the 12 months to end of March 2016.
In tandem with this announcement, Merlin confirmed today that it would be reducing its members’ Administration Fee percentage rate for the sixth time in five years.
Effective immediately, the rate for commercial deals has been cut by 25% – dropping from 2% to 1.5% of revenues.
Merlin estimates that its member base claims a 12% market share of the world’s digital recorded music marketplace.
Embodying more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from 51 countries, Merlin’s members include the likes of Beggars Group, Domino, Kobalt Music Recordings and Secretly Canadian.
Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin said: “On the back of our new agreement with Spotify, I am proud to announce yet another reduction in our Administration Fee.
“Together it means Merlin continues to deliver maximum value to our members’ digital business, and highlights our ongoing commitment to provide ever greater efficiencies.”
The announcement comes in the same month that Merlin confirmed a new multi-year global license agreement with Spotify.
“Merlin continues to deliver maximum value to our members’ digital business, and [this admin reduction] highlights our ongoing commitment to provide ever greater efficiencies.”
Charles Caldas, Merlin (pictured)
Meanwhile, Helen Alexander has joined Merlin in the role of Finance Director.
A qualified Chartered Accountant, Alexander brings with her a wealth of experience in the creative and media sector – most recently at Warner Bros UK, where she was Director of Operations and Business Development at their post-production facility.
Reporting directly to Caldas, Alexander will oversee all finance, royalty and operations functions, and will lead the development and implementation of further improvements to the company’s processes.
“Helen is a key addition to our team,” added Caldas. “She brings with her a wealth of experience and, at a time of explosive global growth in our market, will ensure that all internal finance, reporting and operations processes continue to run smoothly.”
She joins a growing global team, including senior long-term General Counsel and Head of Business Affairs, Charlie Lexton.
Other key Merlin staff include Head of Global Member Services and Communications Tom Deakin; General Manager, USA, Jim Mahoney; Japan GM, Haji Taniguchi; Head of Finance, Becky Bishop; Head of Royalties, Liza Dickson; Director, Business and Legal Affairs, Ryan McWhinnie and Head of Technical Operations, Chris Tarbet.
Opening for business in 2008, Merlin now has offices in London, New York and Tokyo, with a head office in Amsterdam.Music Business Worldwide