Charles Caldas


Charles Caldas is a Partner in Exceleration Music.

Prior to joining Exceleration, Caldas was best known as the CEO of Merlin, the independent global rights agency.

Charles Caldas: Career beginnings

Charles Caldas’ first brush with the music industry came during university, through Monash University’s radio station, 3MU, and his band, These Future Kings, which formed there. Through the band, he also worked during the holidays, packing boxes at the small independent record label that had signed them.

In 1989, Caldas joined Shock Entertainment, where he spent 16 years, including nine as CEO, growing it into one of the biggest independent music companies in Australia.

Charles Caldas: Founding Merlin

Charles Caldas relocated to the UK from Australia in 2007 to become Merlin’s CEO, responsible for the construction of the organisation prior to it opening for business in May 2008.

During his tenure, he oversaw the expansion of Merlin, with a management team based in offices in Amsterdam, London, New York and Tokyo. Under Caldas’ guidance, Merlin struck landmark deals with the likes of Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, SoundCloud, Pandora and Facebook as well as a series of strategic non-exclusive licensing partnerships in China with NetEase Cloud Music, Ali Music Group and Tencent Music Entertainment. Merlin now represents more than 850 members from 63 countries, who collectively command over 12% of the world’s digital music market.

Caldas received a number of awards during his tenure at Merlin, including IMPALA’s “Outstanding Contribution”, the UK Association of Independent Music “Indie Champion”, STOMP Netherlands “Independent of the Year” and AMAEI Portugal “Outstanding Contribution”.

He stepped down after a decade at the helm at the end of 2019.

In 2021, Caldas was named as a Partner in Exceleration Music, a new partnership of global music industry leaders who invest in the future of independent labels and artists.Music Business Worldwide

Charles Caldas In The News

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