Merlin, the world’s largest and most trusted digital licensing partner for independents, has promoted Chaida Kapfunde to Director, Technology & Business Solutions, now reporting directly to the CEO. Since 2017, Kapfunde has served as Merlin’s Head of Technology and Development, overseeing the organization’s needs in infrastructure and product development and overseeing the engineering team. As head of the department, he leads a growing team of developers that manage and support the rollout of new platforms and tools used by Merlin employees and members alike. In January 2021, the department was rebranded to Technology & Business Solutions to better reflect the value that technology drives and the solutions that it brings.
In 2020 alone, Kapfunde helped to operationalize Merlin’s commercial deal with Apple, integrate Merlin’s systems with new digital partners such as TikTok and Apple Music, and cement the building blocks of Avalon, the internal system that powers the Merlin team in its mission of enabling independents around the world.
“Over the last three years, Merlin has invested in cloud infrastructure and building out an experienced and forward-thinking Technology & Business Solutions team,” said Kapfunde. “It’s exciting to be part of this growth and journey. I look forward to Merlin pushing forward and adding more value to our partners and the independent community through technology and innovation.”
Kapfunde has a deep well of expertise in the world of technology, having spent his career managing technology strategy and delivering bespoke software. Prior to joining Merlin, Kapfunde was EMEA Program Manager for Videology, the UK’s leading video advertising technology solutions provider. There, he managed client-facing and technical programs across EMEA for the company’s largest global client.
He also served as IT Director for digital magazine subscription service Readbug, as well as managing IT business solutions for Jordan Media.
“I’m thrilled with everything that Chaida has accomplished since he joined Merlin, and with this well-deserved recognition,” said Jeremy Sirota, CEO. “The role of technology is central to the value that Merlin brings to its members in helping them maximize their digital partnerships. We’re proud to lead the world in bridging the needs of independents with the ever-increasing role of technology in the music ecosystem.”
Merlin provides independents the means to own their future. Merlin is a member led, music focused organization providing digital music licensing for the leading 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 our membership to grow to represent 15% of the global market share. Merlin’s membership includes independents such as Amuse, Armada Music, AVL Group (including CD Baby, DashGo and FUGA), AWAL, Beggars Group, Cinq Music Group, Dim Mak, DistroKid, Domino, Entertainment One, Epitaph Records, Foundation Media, Kontor New Media, Mad Decent, Monstercat, Mushroom Music, Ninja Tune, [PIAS], Pony Canyon, Secret City, Secretly, Symphonic Distribution, Sub Pop, Ultra Records, Vydia, and hundreds more.
Merlin now has deals with over 30 digital services, including Alibaba, Apple, AWA, Boomplay, Deezer, Facebook/Instagram, JioSaavn, KKBox, NetEase, Pandora, Snap, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tencent, TikTok, Triller, and YouTube Music, and is in conversations with dozens more.
Merlin has offices in London, New York, and Tokyo.
Find out more at www.merlinnetwork.org.
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