Merlin Strikes Deal With Catch Media

In News by Merlin Team

16th March, 2009 – MERLIN, the global rights agency and virtual fifth major, representing major independents including Domino, Beggars Group, KOCH (nowE1 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 announced a deal with Catch Media, for their Play Anywhere™ system.

The system – which was one of the winners of the second Music Ally/MidemNet “New Business Showcase” in January 2009 – puts people’s music onto the “cloud” and allows them to access and play it across multiple devices regardless of DRM and formats. Play Anywhere™ allows its subscribers to always have access to their personal music collections via their registered devices which could include mobile phones, set-top boxes, PC or in-car systems, no matter where they are.

Merlin is the third major rights holder to enter into a Play Anywhere™ license with Catch Media, which expects to debut its service across the USA initially, within the next three months.

Said Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO “The Play Anywhere™ system is an exciting new development. Not only does it provides consumers with a convenient, safe and practical way to access their collections, but it generates new revenue for our labels that simply did not exist before. We are delighted to have the world’s most important independent repertoire that we represent included in this groundbreaking initiative.”

Yaacov Ben-Yaacov, Catch Media CEO commented “We are very excited to partner with such a forward-thinking company like Merlin, which has not only rapidly grown to be one of the most commercially significant sources of independent music, but is also at the forefront of revolutionizing the licensing of digital music. “

Merlin commenced operations in May 2008. Since then it 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 12,000 labels on its books, 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.

Catch Media has developed the revolutionary Play Anywhere™ system that allows consumers to listen to and play their content across multiple devices regardless of DRM and formats. Catch Media monetizes a consumer’s post-acquisition consumption while encouraging new acquisition through super-distribution. Carriers, operators, and retailers will offer consumers the ability to listen to their existing music collection across cell phone, set top box, and in-car infotainment systems seamlessly, with acquired content automatically and immediately accessible. Moreover, for the first time, all key participants in the ecosystem will participate in the revenue stream, and receive real-time usage reporting to drive targeted marketing.

About Merlin

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.

“We are very excited to partner with such a forward-thinking company like Merlin, which has not only rapidly grown to be one of the most commercially significant sources of independent music, but is also at the forefront of revolutionizing the licensing of digital music. “

Yaacov Ben-Yaacov, Catch Media CEO

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