Merlin this week celebrates its tenth anniversary as global digital rights agency for the independent label sector.
It does with news of three key new hires; Marta de la Hoz joins as Head of Reporting, Chaida Kapfunde as Head of Technology & Development, and Quentin Martins as Member Operations Manager.
This expands the Merlin team to a total of 21 staff, working across offices in Amsterdam, London, New York and Tokyo.
de la Hoz joins from IronGroup, and previously managed the UK royalties team at [PIAS]. She will oversee the integration, processing and analysis of reporting from DSPs to Merlin member labels.
Chaida, formerly EMEA Program Manager at video advertising software company Videology, will oversee Merlin’s IT infrastructure, as well as leading product development across Merlin’s internal software platforms.
Both will report to Chief Financial Officer, Helen Alexander.
Meanwhile, with experience at [PIAS], Full Time Hobby, Hassel Records and Phoenix Music International, Martins will work within the Member operations team alongside Head of Member Operations, Chris Tarbet, advising and assisting members on maximising the value of their participation in Merlin’s key DSP agreements.
Charlie Lexton, Chief Commercial Officer & General Counsel, Merlin, said: “Ten years feels like a significant landmark. However, as new services launch, and as streaming and subscription models gain traction in previously undeveloped markets, it is crucial that Merlin can evolve accordingly and offer our members the highest possible level of service. These new additions to our team add significantly to our level of expertise, and ensure that Merlin can continue to bring maximum value to our members’ digital business.”
Helen Alexander, Chief Financial Officer, Merlin, commented: “The scale of growth in the digital music market is phenomenal. Last year, we announced that Merlin had distributed $1bn in its first 9 years of operation, and this year we have already announced a groundbreaking series of Chinese deals, as well as our first global partnership with Facebook. This does, of course, considerably increase our reporting workload, but having Marta and Chaida onboard ensures Merlin will continue to manage our continued expansion.”
Tom Deakin, Director, Global Member Services, Merlin, added: “Having been at Merlin since 2008, I have become accustomed to our constant growth – both in the number of members we represent and the number of DSP’s we licence. However, 2017 was remarkable for a real surge of new members, notably from Japan, all of whom continue to add value and geographic reach to the business. Working alongside myself, Chris Tarbet and Sarah Johnston, Quentin will be a key member of the team as we continue to respond to these changes and serve indie labels from all continents.”
Alongside CEO Charles Caldas, other senior members of the Merlin team include Becky Bishop (Head of Finance), Christopher Tarbet (Head of Member Operations), and Ryan McWhinnie (Director, Legal and Business Affairs).
Jim Mahoney is General Manager of Merlin USA, with Haji Taniguchi (General Manager) and Kaoruko Hill (Member Services & Operations Manager) overseeing Merlin’s Japanese office.
Jim Mahoney, GM, Merlin USA: “Merlin US welcomes our new colleagues and the expertise they bring to the organization and to our members, in America and across the globe. As an ever increasing number of significant American independents participate in Merlin agreements, it’s a great benefit to add executives the level of Marta, Chaida and Quentin ensuring that Merlin continues to be well resourced and providing the best possible service in support of our members’ success in the digital market.”
Haji Taniguchi, GM, Merlin Japan: “Japanese labels now have a strong understanding to the benefits of being part of Merlin’s global network, and we are excited to help them build their digital business. Since opening the Tokyo office in October 2016, the interest and engagement has been strong, and is growing stronger – and I am delighted that our country now constitutes Merlin’s 5th largest source of members. The addition to the team of Marta, Chaida and Quentin will only accelerate this momentum.”
Adding to a wide range of existing global DSP partnerships, Merlin recently signed non-exclusive licensing agreements in China, as well as its first licensing deal with Facebook.
Opening for business in May 2008, when its team consisted of 3 staff, Merlin now services a growing global membership representing tens of thousands of independent record labels across 53 countries – which it says is equivalent to more than a 12% share of the global digital recorded music market.
[Pictured: Quentin Martins, Chaida Kapfunde, and Marta de la Hoz]Music Business Worldwide