Merlin agrees landmark partnership with SoundCloud – the world’s leading independent labels to unlock new revenue opportunities

 

Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent sector, has today announced a landmark partnership with SoundCloud that enables more than 20,000 labels and distributors worldwide to extend their existing relationship with the service and benefit from new commercial and promotional opportunities. SoundCloud currently has 175 million unique users each month.

The agreement includes the world’s biggest independents, such as Beggars Group, Domino, Secretly Group, Epitaph, Ninja Tune, PIAS, Warp Records, Armada Music, Kontor Records and many more. 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.

Significantly, via this commercial partnership Merlin members now have access to a full range of reporting and content management tools and, by joining On SoundCloud, SoundCloud’s new creator partner programme, an opportunity to unlock new revenues – triggering monetisation of their own uploads to the SoundCloud platform, in addition to those posted by SoundCloud users.

The agreement will also cover involvement in SoundCloud’s forthcoming subscription service – a unique offering, due to launch in 2015.

Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin, said: “The independent label community has long embraced SoundCloud as an innovative marketing and discovery platform, and Merlin is pleased to partner with the service at the next stage of its evolution. Our deal significantly extends this existing relationship, and ensures Merlin members can participate fully in the long term value of SoundCloud’s future.”

Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud’s founder & CEO, said: ”I’m excited to announce our largest independent label partnership to date with Merlin, the global rights agency for the independent label sector. Independent creators have always been at the core of SoundCloud and with this partnership we’re thrilled to extend new revenue generating opportunities to thousands of independent labels.”

 

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:

–   Armada – Armin van Buuren, Lost Frequencies, Mr Probz

–   Beggars Group – 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 & the Bad Seeds

–   Kontor New Media – Scooter, DJ Antoine, Nils Landgren

–   Merge – Arcade Fire, Caribou

–   Ninja Tune – Bonobo, The Heavy, ODESZA

–   [PIAS] – Editors, Enter Shikari, Soulwax

–   Secretly Canadian – Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, The War On Drugs

–   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 SoundCloud, KKBOX, 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.

www.merlinnetwork.org

About SoundCloud

SoundCloud, launched in 2008 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, is the leading audio platform that gives users unprecedented access to the world’s largest community of music & audio creators. With its continued ambition to unmute the web, SoundCloud allows everyone to discover original music & audio, connect with each other and share the sounds they hear. In addition, sound creators can use the platform to instantly record, upload and share sounds across the internet, as well as receive detailed stats and feedback from the SoundCloud community.

For more information, go to: http://soundcloud.com/.

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