Akira Nomoto (pictured) has been appointed General Manager in Japan for Merlin, the global digital rights agency for independent labels.
Nomoto was most recently employed at Spotify Japan, where over the course of six years he went from Head of Artist & Label Marketing to become Director of Licensing and Label Relations.
He also previously led Apple’s Label Relations & Music Programming initiatives in the territory.
Nomoto takes over from Haji Taniguchi who, alongside Kaoruko Hill, established Merlin’s Tokyo office in October 2016.
In recognition of her contribution to Merlin’s successful entry into the Japanese market, and her expertise in all areas of music rights and licensing, Kaoruko is today promoted to an expanded role as Head of Member Services and Operations for Merlin Japan.
At the October 2018 Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) conference, Merlin revealed that distributions to Japan-based members had increased 200% year-on-year.
Charles Caldas, Merlin
Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin, said: “I am delighted to welcome Akira to the Merlin team, and to recognise Kaoruko’s ongoing contribution to our business.
“Their unrivalled experience will help Merlin’s expanding Japanese membership capitalise on the continued consumer adoption of music streaming, and boost our long-term commitment to the region.
“Similarly, at a time of significant market change, their presence on the ground ensures Merlin’s global network of labels and distributors has the strongest possible representation. There is nobody who better understands the Japanese music market.
Continued Caldas: “I would also like to acknowledge the role of Haji Taniguchi in establishing Merlin’s presence in Japan. Alongside Kaoruko, Haji played a lynchpin role since October 2016.
“We wish him all the best for the future, and look forward to accelerated growth as the Japanese market flourishes.”
“I am very happy to be a part of this change, and look forward to working with Merlin members to reshape and build this new era.”
Nomoto added: “For artists and labels, streaming services have made it easier to connect with audiences from all over the world.
“Japan is not immune to these trends, and there is now a huge opportunity for Japanese independent labels to expand their business globally as the market shifts from ownership to access.
“I am very happy to be a part of this change, and look forward to working with Merlin members to reshape and build this new era.”Music Business Worldwide