Mon 8th October, 2007: Merlin, the world’s first rights body for the global independent record sector, have appointed their first Chairman in Bob Frank of US independent Koch Records. As the final step in agreeing a fully-functioning board, Frank was unanimously elected by fellow board members and will sit for a term of one year, after which a new Chairman will be voted in.
With the Chairman now in place, the next step is to finalise the membersʼ mandate, enabling Merlin to provide access to and protect the global independent sector, by ensuring competitive terms for new and emerging media usages of its music.
Said Frank: “Merlin unites the independent sector in an unprecedented way. It gives us an increased ability to compete in the market, and to engage those companies that wish to exploit our rights, and to receive remuneration from those who may have already utilized our copyrights.
“We look forward to establishing many new partnerships as we pave the way for the independent sector to fully engage in the new music business economy. I am thrilled to take on this role and assist CEO Charles Caldas and the Merlin Board as we march forward.”
Commented Caldas “Bob Frank is a recognised leader in the independent music sector, and the fact that he is providing Merlin with the benefit of his knowledge, passion and experience is testament both to the extraordinary group of people we have assembled on this vitally important project, and their force of will to see it succeed.”
Following the recent appointment of Canada’s board members, Geoff Kulawick from Linus Entertainment/IDLA as a voting member and Lyette Bouchard from SOPROQ as an observer, Merlin’s completed board is as follows:
- Bob Frank, President Koch Records, USA Merlin Chairman
- Kevin Arnold, Founder & CEO IODA, USA
- Susan Ferris, Founder & CEO Long Live Crime Records, USA
- Tom Silverman, Chairman & CEO Tommy Boy Records, USA
- Geoff Kulawick, President Linus Entertainment, Canada
- Stephan Bourdoiseau, President Wagram Music, France
- Michel Lambot, Co-President PIAS Group, Belgium
- Martin Mills, Chairman Beggars Group, UK
- Hein Van der Ree, Managing Director Epitaph Europe, Netherlands
- Horst Weidenmüller, CEO !K7, Germany
- Mark Kneebone, President Tardus Music, New Zealand
- Clive Hardwick, Director, BULA Music, South Africa
- Takashi Kamide, Adviser, Columbia Music Entertainment, Japan
- Yongge Shen, Founder & CEO, Zu Shu Entertainment, China
- Eduardo Muszkat, President MCD Entertainment, Brazil
The elected Directors join permanent Directors the President of WIN, currently Alison Wenham, and Merlin CEO Charles Caldas, who is a non-voting board member.
US: Peter Wright, Virtual Label
Canada: Lyette Bouchard, Executive Director, SOPROQ
Merlin, the virtual fifth major, represents the world’s most important set of independent music rights. Merlin commenced operations in May 2008. Since then it has struck deals with a number of digital services including Spotify, Catch Media and i-Mesh.
Merlin offers rights users the opportunity to license collectively the individually unlicensable by creating a single point of contact for those wishing to license from the vast global output of the independent sector.
It ensures members have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are properly protected. Merlin represents by far the largest and most compelling basket of global independent rights, and so offers the most efficient means of licensing this repertoire.
A global organisation, its members’ market share in the US alone is over 9%, equivalent to that of the smaller major labels, whilst in Europe member labels released 72% of the top 60 independent albums released in the past three years and commanded a 75% UK market share of the top 75 independent albums in 2007. Most recently, streaming service Spotify publicly announced that Merlin repertoire represented 10% of the usage on its service.
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