Merlin, the independent’s digital music licensing partner, is proud to welcome Adam Wright as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). A strategic new leader on the Merlin executive team, Wright is an innovative and values-based finance executive with a passion for working with creative entrepreneurial ventures.
Wright comes to Merlin after three years as director of finance for Creative Artists Agency (CAA) overseeing its brand licensing business in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. There, he delivered a number of significant transformation projects, supporting the company’s globalization strategy and its evolving business model. Previously, Wright held executive positions at Sony Music Group, responsible for operations across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore; and Cooperative Music, Universal Music Group’s former international licensing and distribution network serving the independent music sector. Here, Wright successfully led finance teams in driving profitability whilst supporting creative teams in sourcing, developing, and promoting the best domestic and international music talent.
Based in the UK, Wright will be a key member of Merlin’s executive management team, a strategic leader throughout the company, and responsible for all of the organization’s financial, treasury, and tax functions on a global basis. His expertise will help members better own their independence and enable the organization to thrive as it continues to grow.
Wright joins Merlin during a time of momentous growth. Since last summer, 37 new members have joined from around the world, including members based in Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Lebanon, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, UAE, UK, US, and South Korea. The company also welcomed first-time direct members from a number of new countries, including Albania, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, and Turkey.
In addition, this past year, Merlin has also partnered with new digital services and grown its relationships with its partners. This includes Lickd, a platform that lets video creators legally and more seamlessly add music into their videos; a deal with FLO in Korea; an expanded partnership with Boomplay; a dynamic deal with TREBEL; a first-in-kind partnership with Twitch; and a partnership with Pinterest to expand the music experience on the platform. Other highlights include a first-in-time activation with Peloton to premiere new music on their platform; partnering with YouTube on Shorts and Creator Music; enhancing Merlin’s relationship with JioSaavn to better connect members’ music with fans across South Asia, and a partnership with China-based short-form video platform Kuaishou.
“I’m delighted to take on the role of CFO at Merlin,” Wright said. “It’s such a dynamic time for the Merlin organisation and the industry as a whole—I’m very excited to have this opportunity to come back to the independent sector where my music industry career first began is especially satisfying.” He continued, “Independents’ passion for music is only matched by their level of innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s a privilege to join Merlin as they continue to deliver on that ethos on behalf of their members and digital partners around the world.”
Jeremy Sirota, Merlin CEO, said “Adam possesses an incredible wealth of experience across music, TV, film, licensing, and consumer brands. I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him to Merlin in this crucial and strategic role. He is highly respected in his field and brings the right blend of long-term thinking, technical skills, and impressive leadership to benefit Merlin, its members and our partners around the globe.”
Merlin’s repertoire of independent music spans tens of thousands of labels and hundreds of thousands of artists from every country in the world, accounting for over 15% of the global music market share.
Merlin provides independents the means to own their future. Merlin is a member-led, music focused organization providing digital music licensing for independents across the globe. Members benefit from Merlin’s premium deals, but work directly with key digital partners. Our membership consists of independent labels, distributors, and other rights-holders, representing tens of thousands of labels and hundreds of thousands of artists from every country in the world. Merlin works collaboratively with our digital partners, delivers value back to those digital partners, and seeks to drive other incremental benefits to our members.
Merlin’s approach has enabled its membership to grow to represent 15% of the global market share. Merlin’s membership includes independents such as Amuse, Armada Music, CD Baby and Downtown Music (including FUGA), Because, Cinq Music Group, Dim Mak, DistroKid, MNRK Music Group, Epitaph Records, Foundation Media, Kontor New Media, Mad Decent, Monstercat, Mushroom Music, Ninja Tune, [PIAS], Pony Canyon, Secret City, Secretly, Symphonic Distribution, Sub Pop, Vydia, and hundreds more.
Merlin has deals with nearly 40 digital services, including partners like Adaptr, Apple, AWA, Boomplay, Deezer, FLO, JioSaavn, JOOX, KKBox, Kuaishou, Lickd, Meta, NetEase, Pandora, Peloton, Pinterest, Snap, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tencent, TikTok, TREBEL, Triller, Twitch, YouTube Music, and many other global, regional and strategic partners, as well as being in conversations with dozens more.
Merlin has resources in London, New York, North Carolina, the Netherlands, and Tokyo.
Find out more at www.merlinnetwork.org
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