Merlin distributions to label members in Japan increase 200% year-on-year

Distributions to Merlin’s Japanese independent record label members has increased by over 200% year-on-year.

According to Merlin, some of this growth is owed to its membership increasing in the territory over the last 12 months.

The rest it attributes to average payments to members increasing by over 70% during the same period.

The independent label agency opened its Tokyo office, based in the Ebisu district, in October 2016.

The office is headed up by Haji Taniguchi, one of the most experienced and respected executives in the Japanese and Asian music business.

Working full-time alongside Taniguchi is Kaoruko Hill, who provides an international point of contact – supporting local independent labels and enabling them to participate in Merlin’s licensing deals, while liaising with colleagues in Merlin’s London, New York and Amsterdam offices.

Merlin Chief Executive, Charles Caldas (pictured inset), is set to highlight the increase in distributions to Merlin’s Japan-based members during his upcoming keynote at the 15th Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM).

“Opening our Tokyo office in 2016 was a landmark in the global growth of Merlin.”

Charles Caldas, Merlin

Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin, said: “Opening our Tokyo office in 2016 was a landmark in the global growth of Merlin. As well as being the world’s second largest music market, Japan has a thriving music culture with huge export potential. Our data underlines that Merlin is helping our Japanese members extract maximum value from the global demand for their repertoire.

“Much of this is down to the hard work of Haji Taniguchi and Kaoruko Hill. They have done a fantastic job in establishing Merlin’s presence in Japan and have additionally enabled Merlin members around the world to gain greater insight of the Asian market overall. I look forward to further successes in the years ahead.”

Haji Taniguchi, GM, Merlin Japan added: “I am hugely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past two years. Merlin now has an established base in Japan, and it is gratifying that local independent labels are already realizing the value of Merlin membership and growing their overseas business.

“Most excitingly, these are still early days for streaming in our country. Indicated by the trends in Merlin’s 2018 Impact Report, the full benefits of a global digital music market are arguably still yet to come.”

Masahiro “Jack” Oishi, CEO, Danger Crue and current Merlin board member said: “Merlin has empowered independent record labels for more than a decade, and I am proud not only to be a board member but also to celebrate the work of Haji and Kaoruko in establishing our Japanese office.

“With the streaming market now growing across Asia, Japanese labels are in a perfect situation to benefit from Merlin’s global licensing partnerships and to build a worldwide business.”Music Business Worldwide

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