- Independents’ Digital Rights Agency Strike Deal With US’ 3rd Largest Subscription Service
- Includes Settlement For Use Of Repertoire On Lphant P2P Network
- Bjork, Franz Ferdinand, Anthony & The Johnsons Among Artists To Benefit
March 9th 2009 – MERLIN, the global rights agency and virtual fifth major, representing major independents including Domino, Beggars Group, KOCH (now E1 Music), Epitaph and [PIAS], whose artist rosters include Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Anthony & The Johnsons, Basement Jaxx, Bjork, DJ Khaled, Franz Ferdinand, Maxïmo Park, Röyksopp, and Vampire Weekend has signed a content deal with iMesh, the third largest music subscription service in the US, who are soon to expand operations into Europe. Merlin member labels’ repertoire will now be fully available through iMesh’s subscription and download services, which include iMesh and Bearshare.
The deal also includes a settlement relating to usage of Merlin members’ repertoire on the hitherto unlicensed Lphant P2P network, recently purchased by iMesh as part of their European expansion. Merlin members’ repertoire will be available from launch on the new legitimately licensed and filtered version of Lphant.
Said Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO, “We are pleased that iMesh inherently recognised the value of the Merlin repertoire in expanding their footprint to the global market, and are happy to be involved in working with them to license and legitimise the Lphant P2P network. It shows again that the tremendous efficiency and global reach that Merlin provides those wishing to license the world’s most exciting and commercially valuable independent repertoire has been recognised.”
Commented Talmon Marco, President and Chief Marketing Officer of iMesh, “We have long understood the importance of independent music. This agreement adds substantially to the availability of that content to iMesh users. The agreement is an extension of the understanding of iMesh and supporting labels, that music fans will maintain loyalty to a site when revenue is directed to content creators. In this instance, we add Lphant to the list of iMesh services.”
Announced at MIDEM in 2007, Merlin opened for business in May 2008 when it received its members’ mandate. Since then Merlin has been actively involved in negotiations with a number of digital services and in October 2008 announced its first deal with the newly launched music streaming service Spotify. With over 13,000 members Merlin represents the largest and most important collection of independent music rights in the world, with a US market share of over 9%, equivalent to that of the smaller majors.
Established in 1999, iMesh is one of the world’s largest music communities. iMesh lets its millions of users connect with each other and with over 20 millions tracks from all major labels, independents and other users. iMesh offers both free content and paid content via subscription and mp3 downloads.
Lphant is an application for sharing files using a P2P database. Compatible with the biggest file sharing networks in the world, such as eDonkey, eMule and BitTorrent, Lphant has a worldwide user base but has proven particularly popular throughout Europe.
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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