Merlin Reveals Streaming Growth for Independent Label Members in Japan - Merlin

Merlin Reveals Streaming Growth for Independent Label Members in Japan

  • Merlin’s Tokyo office celebrates its second anniversary as distributions to Merlin’s Japan-based members increase 200% year-on-year
  • Merlin CEO, Charles Caldas, to deliver keynote speech on “global growth” today at TIMM 2018

Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, celebrates two years since the opening of its Japanese office – with Chief Executive, Charles Caldas, set to reveal a substantial increase in distributions to Merlin’s Japan-based members during his upcoming keynote at the 15th Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM).

Comparing revenues collected in January-June 2018 with those from January-June 2017, the total distribution to Merlin’s Japanese independent record label members has increased by over 200% year-on-year. Some of this increase is the result of growth in Merlin’s Japanese membership in the last 12 months.  The rest can be attributed to average payments to members increasing by over 70% during the same period.

Despite online streaming only recently gaining traction in Japan, the world’s second largest music market, the territory looks set to follow global trends and benefit from the worldwide demand for independent music.

These were detailed in Merlin’s recently published Tenth Anniversary Impact Report.

“Opening our Tokyo office in 2016 was a landmark in the global growth of Merlin. As well as being the world’s second largest music market, Japan has a thriving music culture with huge export potential. Our data underlines that Merlin is helping our Japanese members extract maximum value from the global demand for their repertoire.

Much of this is down to the hard work of Haji Taniguchi and Kaoruko Hill. They have done a fantastic job in establishing Merlin’s presence in Japan and have additionally enabled Merlin members around the world to gain greater insight of the Asian market overall. I look forward to further successes in the years ahead.”

Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin

Charles’ TIMM keynote on “Global Growth” is scheduled for midday local time tomorrow (Tuesday October 23rd). Full details here

Merlin’s Tokyo office, based in the Ebisu district, opened for business in October 2016 and is managed by Haji Taniguchi, one of the most experienced and respected executives in the Japanese and Asian music business. Working full-time alongside Haji, Kaoruko Hill provides an international point of contact – supporting local independent labels and enabling them to participate in Merlin’s licensing deals, while liaising with colleagues in Merlin’s London, New York and Amsterdam offices.  

Merlin’s membership encompasses tens of thousands of independent labels in 57 countries across all continents. The organization’s total membership commands in excess of 12% of the global digital recorded music market.

In 2018 alone, Merlin has struck partnerships with Facebook, Alibaba, NetEase, Tencent. Merlin currently has global licensing agreements in place with 25 new generation digital music services around the world.

“I am hugely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past two years. Merlin now has an established base in Japan, and it is gratifying that local independent labels are already realizing the value of Merlin membership and growing their overseas business. Most excitingly, these are still early days for streaming in our country. Indicated by the trends in Merlin’s 2018 Impact Report, the full benefits of a global digital music market are arguably still yet to come.”

Haji Taniguchi, GM, Merlin Japan

“Merlin has empowered independent record labels for more than a decade, and I am proud not only to be a board member but also to celebrate the work of Haji and Kaoruko in establishing our Japanese office. With the streaming market now growing across Asia, Japanese labels are in a perfect situation to benefit from Merlin’s global licensing partnerships and to build a worldwide business.”

Masahiro “Jack” Oishi, CEO, Danger Crue and current Merlin board member

About Merlin

Merlin is the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector.

The organisation’s members command in excess of 12% of the digital recorded music market and embody more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from 57 countries.

These include Beggars Group, Secretly Group, Domino, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Anti Records, Entertainment One, Redeye Worldwide, !K7, Kobalt Music Recordings, [PIAS], Merge, Warp, INgrooves, Hopeless Records, Armada Music, Mad Decent, Ninja Tune, Eleven Seven Music, Naxos and Curb Records, representing some of the world’s most important and successful artists.

Merlin acts to ensure these companies have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.

Since commencing operations in May 2008, Merlin has licensed 25 key digital services including Facebook, YouTube Music, Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, Alibaba, NetEase and Tencent, and has reached a number of high value copyright infringement settlements on behalf of its members.

Merlin has won ‘Independent Champion’ at the A2IM Libera Awards three times – in ‘15, ‘16 and ‘18.

Merlin has offices in London, New York and Tokyo, with a head office in Amsterdam.

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