Merlin Network

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Merlin Network
Traded asMerlin Network
IndustryMusic distribution
Area served
Key people
ServicesDigital music licensing

Merlin Network is a digital rights agency for independent record labels.[1] It was started in 2007 with Charles Caldas as the chief executive. The agency reportedly has a membership of over 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from approximately 62 countries and has paid out over two billion dollars.[2][3]


Merlin was launched in early 2007 at the Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale in Cannes; Charles Caldas was the first chief executive.[4] The organisation had already reached a distribution agreement with Snocap, through which music from its artists would be available for download from MySpace.[4]

The agency has negotiated settlements for copyright infringement with distributors such as Grooveshark, Limewire and XM Satellite Radio. Its content has been distributed through Deezer, Pandora Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Vevo, YouTube Premium and other services.[5]

In February 2013, Merlin and IMPALA signed an agreement with Warner Music Group after it acquired Parlophone, to transfer 30% of that label's value to Merlin and IMPALA members. The divestment ended on 30 September 2017.[6]

In March 2018 the company entered into agreements with three major Chinese streaming servicesNetEase, Xiami Music and Tencent – for digital music distribution in China.[1]


  1. ^ a b c [s.n.] (15 March 2018). Merlin Network strikes streaming deals for independent music in China. BBC News. Accessed February 2019.
  2. ^ "No. 81: Charles Caldas, Power 100". Billboard. 7 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Merlin Announces Two Billion Dollars Paid". Digital Music News. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b Katie Allen (22 January 2007). Indie music labels join together to grab a slice of online revenues. The Guardian. Accessed February 2019.
  5. ^ "Merlin Announces 20 Percent Price Cut For Members". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  6. ^ Ugwu, Reggie (19 February 2013). "Warner Music Working With Impala, Merlin to Sell Parlophone Assets to Indies". Billboard.