Merlin announces multi-territory agreement with KKBOX

Asia’s leading music streaming service boosted by deal with the world’s leading independent labels

Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent sector, has today announced a new partnership with Asia’s leading music streaming service, KKBOX.

It represents Merlin’s first ever pan-Asian specific deal, and covers KKBOX’s home territory of Taiwan, as well as Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Merlin’s membership represents the most valuable set of rights outside of those controlled by the three major labels, commanding in excess of 10% of the global digital market, and the partnership will see music from some of the world’s leading independent labels and distributors featured on the KKBOX platform.

Collectively, Merlin’s membership covers 20,000 labels and distributors across 40 countries.

KKBOX has operated a subscription music streaming service since October 2004 and its catalogue currently features over 20 million tracks. KKBOX has more than 10 million users with 2 million subscribers.

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said: “Merlin is a truly global organisation, and we are delighted to be breaking new ground via our partnership with KKBOX. This deal will enable Merlin members around the world to capitalise on the huge appetite for independent music across South East Asia.”  

Josephine Cheng, Senior Vice President of KKBOX said: “We are very excited to partner with Merlin. By bringing some of the world’s best independent labels to KKBOX this deal will hugely enrich our members’ music experiences. We continue to be committed to empower independent labels and artists to distribute and promote their music through our platform.”


About Merlin

Merlin is the global rights agency for the independent label sector.

The organisation’s members command around a 10% share of the US and global recorded music markets and embody more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors worldwide, representing some of the world’s most important artists, including:

–   Beggars Group – Bon Iver, Jack White, The National, Queens of the Stone Age

–   Cooking Vinyl – Billy Bragg, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy

–   Domino – Animal Collective, Anna Calvi, Arctic Monkeys

–   Epitaph – Bad Religion, Tom Waits, Wilco

–   !K7 – Tricky, Fat Freddy’s Drop

–   Kobalt Label Services – Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

–   Merge – Arcade Fire, Caribou

–   [PIAS] – Editors, Enter Shikari, Soulwax

–   Razor & Tie – HIM, Yellowcard

–   Warp – Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Grizzly Bear

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 YouTube Music Key, Spotify, Pandora, Beats Music, Google Play, Rdio and Deezer and 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 offices in London, with a head office in Amsterdam.


KKBOX, Asia’s leading music streaming service, was established in 2004 by a group of Taiwanese software programmers with a shared passion for technology and music. With the support from more than 500 international major and local independent music labels, KKBOX features 20 million legal tracks, including the most comprehensive Asia-Pop music library, and is currently available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand with over 10 million users and 2 million paid users. KKBOX is committed to creating a truly immersive online music experience to users, and to empower artists and their music through technological innovation. With its advanced product technology, strategic vision and strong local partnerships, KKBOX is aggressively expanding into international markets.

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