Merlin – Head of Technology and Development (UK)

Merlin is the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector, with a membership accounting for more than 12% of the global recorded music market. It was established to allow digital services the opportunity to globally license commercially successful independent music labels from across the world.

Launched in 2007 and based in Amsterdam with offices in London, New York and Tokyo, the organisation now has over 800 members from 53 countries, representing more than 20,000 independent labels and aggregators worldwide.

Merlin has licensed digital services including SoundCloud, YouTube Red, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Deezer, Vevo, KKBOX and AWA, and reached copyright infringement settlements with, among others, Limewire, XM Satellite Radio and Grooveshark.

Merlin has been recognised by the music and technology sectors. The organisation was named by Fast Company magazine as one of the most innovative music companies in the world in 2013, and has received the ‘Independent Champion’ award at both the 2015 and 2016 A2IM Libera Awards, while CEO Charles Caldas received the IMPALA annual outstanding contribution award in 2013, and has been named in Billboard Magazine’s International Power Players list in 2013 and 2017.


Based in London, the Head of Technology and Development will work closely with the CEO, Finance Director, and Head of Global Member Services to manage and oversee the company’s technical infrastructure, including developing the company’s IT systems, project managing and relationships with external IT providers, working with members and DSP to maximise efficiency of data provision and reporting, as well as contributing to the future technical/IT strategy for the organisation.

The role will suit an experienced, business-focused developer with excellent project management, communication and collaborative skills.

The company has experienced remarkable growth since its inception and is now at a phase where it needs an exceptional professional to build a sustainable and scalable infrastructure, that takes into account not only current needs, but with a view to the ongoing growth and complexity of the digital music marketplace.

Major Areas of Responsibility

Major areas of responsibility include:

  • Develop systems, procedures and processes to maximise efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s technical processes.
  • Provide regular analysis and input on the performance of the company’s systems to ensure they are robust, scalable and compliant both in the short and long term.
  • Comprehensively familiarise yourself with the existing software platform and codebase and the internal processes and workflows that it facilitates within Merlin.
  • Take control of, and manage the long-term and short-term product roadmap.
  • Contribute code to develop the existing software platform internally and in collaboration with our external development teams and proactively suggest and implement features, fixes and efficiency improvements.
  • Establish and take responsibility for running a well-organised communication channel between internal staff and external development partners.
  • Frequent reporting and feedback to and from all staff will be expected.
  • Work with the CEO to create further systems and processes that allow ongoing improvement of the performance of the organisation.
  • Other tasks as required
Primary Objectives
  • Primary goals and objectives:
  • Develop the company’s technical infrastructure both internally and in conjunction with outside providers.
  • Assess and analyse technological challenges faced by the organisation and work closely with the relevant department heads to devise solutions to those challenges.
  • Ensure that technical processes and systems maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of the running of the organisation.
  • Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • The successful candidate must carry relevant professional qualifications. They should demonstrate a working knowledge of the commercial digital music marketplace, including the various forms of digital retail and statutory exploitation, and of the underlying rights required to license such platforms. A working of knowledge of the music industry, and the independent sector in particular, would be advantageous.
  • The candidate will be commercially astute, technically strong, have proven experience in development and project management, and show an ability to operate on both a detail-oriented technical level and a higher strategic level. They will be energetic, motivated and a self-starter, demonstrating ability to handle complex strategic decision making, and to communicate that effectively.
  • The candidate’s required day-to-day development work will include coding collaboratively with remote developers and troubleshooting and extending existing codebase features, as well as planning and executing internal projects either solo or involving and managing third party developers where appropriate. All code must be conscientious, precise and maintainable.
Specific Technical Skills to Include:
  • An intuitive, best-practice knowledge of GitHub is essential to ensure efficient collaborative workflow with our external development teams.
  • Platform development will be within Symfony 1.4 / PHP 5.6 and Laravel 5+ / PHP 7. Intuitive familiarity and experience using these frameworks is required..
  • Experience in managing large bodies of data within MySQL 5 with experience in optimisation and efficiency troubleshooting.
  • A familiarity with clean HTML / CSS development to build out platform features.
  • A good grasp of Linux DevOps to manage platform deployment and manage auxiliary features.
  • Strong, professional and proactive project management and communication skills.

Related Music Business Jobs