Darius Van Arman reappointed Merlin Chairperson as indie label agency elects new Board

Secretly Co-CEO and Merlin Chairperson Darius Van Arman.

Merlin, the digital licensing agency for the indie music business, has reappointed Darius Van Arman as Chairperson for a second term as it kicks off 2024 with a new Board.

Van Arman first joined Merlin’s Board in 2015 and stepped into the role of Chairperson in 2022.

Merlin’s newly elected Board hails from 12 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania. This reflects Merlin’s diverse membership of thousands of independent labels and rightsholders.

Among the newly elected Board Members are Golda Bitterli (VP of Sales, Revelator, Israel), Jeffrey Chiang (Director of Global Business, Fluxus, South Korea), Fer Isella (Founder and CEO, limbo music, Spain), Irina Lipczyk-Kolakovska (Digital Distribution Lead, e-muzyka, Poland), Simon Wheeler (Director of Global Commercial Strategy, Beggars, UK), and Megan Jasper (CEO, Sub Pop, US).

This year’s appointed Board Advisors include Jennifer Newman Sharpe (General Counsel, Exceleration) and Dorothee Imhoff (CCO, FUGA).

Returning members to the Merlin Board include Pascal Bittard (Founder and CEO, IDOL, France), Marie Clausen (Managing Director North America, Ninja Tune, US), Tom Deakin (Head of EMEA, AudioSalad, UK), Chris Maund (COO, Mushroom Music, Australia), Carlos Mills (Founder, Mills Records, Brazil), Louis Posen (President & Executive Director, Hopeless Records, US), Michael Ugwu (CEO, Freeme Digital, Nigeria), Horst Weidenmueller (CEO & Owner, !K7, Germany), Justin West (President & CEO, Secret City, Canada), and the reappointed Darius Van Arman.

Van Arman, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Secretly Group, was previously elected to the board of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM).

With the new appointments, Martin Mills (Beggars and Merlin Co-Founder, Board Member and Former Chairperson) and Michel Lambot (PIAS and Merlin Co-Founder and Board Member) stepped down from the Board.

“[The board’s] strategic insights will be crucial to help us navigate new opportunities and challenges for music rightsholders in the ever-evolving digital music landscape.”

Jeremy Sirota, Merlin

Jeremy Sirota, CEO of Merlin, said: “We are pleased to welcome our new Board Members, each of whom brings a vital and unique perspective to Merlin.”

“As Merlin continues to grow — both in terms of our global membership and our partnerships — their collective expertise in various facets of the music industry is invaluable. Their strategic insights will be crucial to help us navigate new opportunities and challenges for music rightsholders in the ever-evolving digital music landscape,” Sirota added.

Merlin serves as a digital music licensing partner for independent labels, negotiating premium deals with major platforms globally. Representing a global membership from 68 countries, Merlin helps independent record labels, distributors, and rightsholders, operating without investor pressure and funded solely by a 1.5% admin fee.

Merlin’s membership includes entities such as !K7, Altafonte, Armada Music, Beggars Group, CD Baby, Downtown Music (including FUGA), Mushroom Music, Ninja Tune, Secretly, Sub Pop, Vydia, Warp Records and more.

Music Business Worldwide

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