London, 20th April 2017

Spotify and Merlin agree to new multi-year global license agreement for the world’s leading independent record labels

Spotify, the leading global music streaming service, and Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, today announced a new multi-year license agreement – ensuring the world’s leading independent record labels and their artists will remain at the core of Spotify’s offering to music fans.  

Continuing a successful nine-year partnership, the agreement is structured to reflect and promote the value of Merlin’s collective offering of its members’ repertoire, while offering improved marketing and advertising opportunities and enhanced access to data. Merlin member labels can also participate in Spotify’s recently announced flexible release policy.

Frequently referred to as “the virtual fourth major”, Merlin licensed Spotify at launch in 2008 and is the service’s 4th largest partner – offering, via a single global license, access to music from thousands of independent record labels and distributors from more than 50 countries across all continents. These include (in alphabetical order) deeply respected music brands such as Armada Music, Beggars Group, Domino, Entertainment One, Epitaph/Anti, Hopeless Records, Kobalt Music Recordings, Mad Decent, Naxos, [PIAS], Secretly Group, Sub Pop and Warp, representing many of the world’s most important and successful artists.

Over this period, Spotify has enabled Merlin’s member companies to successfully transition their digital business to benefit from the new market dynamics of streaming.

Spotify Cofounder and CEO Daniel EK tweeted:

Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin 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.”

Martin Mills, Chairman, Merlin added: “I’m delighted that Merlin has reached this new agreement with Spotify. We’ve been great partners for each other, and this updated arrangement allows independents in the Merlin community the comfort of knowing they have a highly competitive deal and parity of access to the service, whilst creating a commercial environment in which Spotify can grow to the benefit of all of us.”

About Spotify:

Spotify is an award-winning digital music service that gives you on-demand access to over 30 million tracks. Our dream is to make all the world’s music available instantly to everyone, wherever and whenever you are. Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage and share music with your friends, while making sure that artists get a fair deal.
Spotify is now available in 60 markets globally with more than 100 million active users, and over 50 million paying subscribers.
Since its launch in Sweden in 2008, Spotify has driven more than US$5bn to rights holders. Spotify is the biggest and most successful music streaming service of its kind globally.
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 About Merlin:

Merlin is the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector.
The organisation’s members command in excess of 12% of the digital recorded music market and embody more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from 51 countries and all continents. These include Beggars Group, Secretly Group, Domino, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Anti Records, Entertainment One, Redeye Worldwide, !K7, Kobalt Music Recordings, [PIAS], Merge, Warp, INgrooves, Hopeless Records, Armada Music, Mad Decent, Eleven Seven Music, Naxos and Curb Records, representing some of the world’s most important and successful artists.
Merlin acts to ensure these companies have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.
Since commencing operations in May 2008, Merlin has licensed key digital services including SoundCloud, YouTube Red, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Deezer, Vevo and KKBOX.
Merlin has reached a number of high value copyright infringement settlements on behalf of its members with, amongst others, Limewire, XM Satellite Radio and Grooveshark.
Merlin has been selected as the ‘Independent Champion’ at the A2IM Libera Awards for two years running.
Merlin has offices in London, New York, and Tokyo, with a head office in Amsterdam.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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