BEATS MUSIC & MERLIN OUTLINE “BENCHMARK DEAL” FOR THE GLOBAL INDEPENDENT MUSIC SECTOR
London – 6th February, 2014: Beats Music, the recently-launched music streaming service that focuses on providing a personalised music experience for each user through a unique blend of digital innovation and musical passion, has today outlined its strategic commitment to the thriving independent music sector through a licensing deal with global rights agency Merlin.
The benchmark deal, active since Beats Music’s launch on January 21st, ensures that the 20,000+ leading independent labels and distributors represented by Merlin’s 600 members will enjoy parity with the world’s three major record labels, and builds upon the service’s stated commitment that it will pay the same royalty rate to all content owners.
As a digital music service catering to fans of all types of music, Beats Music is uniquely aware of the importance of independent music. Its 5,000+ hand-curated playlists place the most mainstream hits next to the most obscure of tracks to ensure listeners come away with the right song for the right mood at the right time for the right person. Discovering a new artist or song is just as important as accessing an old favourite, so a catalogue that caters to all tastes is crucial to Beats Music’s success.
“We are thrilled to be working with Merlin, Beats Music is committed to treating all artists and labels fairly and equally,” said Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers. “While other services may try to get away with paying independent labels and artists less, we’re paying all repertoire-owners equally because it’s the right thing to do.”
The independent sector is the fastest growing sector in today's music business, representing not only a huge breadth and diversity of local music on a territory-by-territory basis, but also an increasing number of hit, commercial chart acts. Half of this year’s GRAMMY nominations went to acts not on a major label.
Merlin’s membership represents the most commercially valuable basket of recorded music rights outside those held by the three major labels.
Launching for business in May 2008, the organisation's mission is to ensure that this membership - drawn from across 39 countries - have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams, and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected in the digital realm. Equally, Merlin offers significant efficiencies to digital services and the opportunity to globally license - via a single deal - the world’s most important and successful music labels.
Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO said: “Ian and the team at Beats have taken a refreshing, and enlightened approach to recognising the value of a Merlin deal, and we are excited to be in business with them. As a result of our deal, not only do the users of Beats Music have access to an extraordinary range of music from the world’s best independent labels and artists, but the labels we represent have an opportunity to benefit from the success of the service on a truly equal footing to our major label competitors.”
Merlin is the global rights agency representing the world’s most important independent music companies. The organisation acts to ensure its members have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.
Merlin’s membership embodies over 20,000 independent record labels and distributors, representing some of the world’s most important independent artists, including:
• The xx, The National, Vampire Weekend (Beggars Group)
• Tom Waits, Bad Religion, Wilco (Epitaph Records)
• Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Kobalt)
• Arcade Fire, She & Him (Merge)
• DJ Khaled, Jim Jones (E1)
• Enter Shikari, Editors, Ghostpoet, Soulwax ([PIAS])
• Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Anna Calvi (Domino)
• Prodigy, Marilyn Manson (Cooking Vinyl)
• DJ Antoine (Kontor)
• Armin van Buuren, Hardwell (Armada)
• Chuck Prophet, Josh Rouse (Yep Roc Records)
• Kid Koala, Amon Tobin (Ninja Tune)
• Bob Sinclar (Tommy Boy)
• Grizzly Bear, Boards of Canada (Warp Records)
• Ani Difranco (Righteous Babe)
• Sharon van Etten, Bon Iver (Secretly Canadian)
• Hercules and Love Affair, Space Cadets (!K7)
• Dan Zanes, Sonny Landreth (Virtual Label)
Merlin’s members command around a 10% share of the global and US recorded music markets. Since commencing operations in May 2008, Merlin has struck deals with a wide variety of digital services including Spotify, YouTube, Google Play, Rdio and Deezer and reached a number of high value copyright infringement settlements on behalf of its members with, amongst others, Limewire, XM Satellite Radio and Grooveshark.
Billboard included CEO Charles Caldas in its International Power Players 2014 list.
In March 2013, the organisation’s chief executive, Charles Caldas, was named winner of the IMPALA Outstanding contribution award, which recognised his dedicated work launching and growing Merlin into the virtual fourth major in the digital space.
In February 2013, Merlin was named among the world’s ten most innovative companies in music by Fast Company magazine.
For more information visit: www.merlinnetwork.org
About Beats Music:
Beats Music is a new kind of streaming music service that focuses on providing a personalised music experience for each user through a unique blend of digital innovation and musical passion.
Programmed by a trusted team of well-respected music experts with over 300 years of experience across all genres, Beats Music delivers the right music for any situation, any time, and any preference, personalised to your tastes. The result is an artist-friendly digital music service that does more than simply offer access to music, but one that establishes an emotional connection to it as well.
Beats Music was launched in 2014 through a unique collaboration between Interscope/Geffen/A&M chairman and Co-Founder/CEO of Beats Electronics Jimmy Iovine, legendary artist, producer and Co-Founder of Beats Electronics Dr. Dre and Beats Electronics President Luke Wood, led by CEO Ian Rogers and CCO, award-winning musician Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. The company is privately held with offices in Santa Monica and San Francisco, CA.