Merlin hires Ryan McWhinnie as Director, Legal & Business Affairs

28th August:-  Merlin, the global rights agency for the independent label sector, has hired Ryan McWhinnie as Director, Legal & Business Affairs.

The newly-created position will see McWhinnie working from the agency’s London office, where he will report to Charlie Lexton, Merlin’s Head of Business Affairs & General Counsel. 

McWhinnie joins from media and entertainment law firm Harbottle & Lewis LLP, having previously worked at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.  With experience of commercial and corporate practice, he has also specialised in the music sector - advising clients from both industry and artistic fields, including rara, soundhalo and MAMA & Company. 

The appointment follows the recent announcement of Merlin’s groundbreaking partnership with Pandora - the internet radio service’s first ever direct label deal. On behalf of its membership, Merlin has now established itself as a key licensing partner to the world’s leading new-generation digital music services including Beats Music, Deezer, rara, Rdio and Spotify. 

In June 2014, Merlin reported that payments to its members are expected to exceed $160m over the next 12 months. 

Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO said: “As Merlin continues to operate at the forefront of a fast-developing digital music market, Ryan will be a valuable addition to our team. His joining significantly increases Merlin’s deal-making capacity and will allow us to deliver even greater efficiencies and value to our members.”

Charlie Lexton, Merlin Head of Business Affairs said: “We are very happy to have recruited Ryan. He stood out as a great fit with our business and he will assist us greatly as we continue to expand the volume and scope of our operations”.

Ryan McWhinnie added: “I’m delighted to be joining such a dynamic team at what is an exciting period of change for the recorded music sector, and where the value of independent music has never been more evident. Merlin has already signed a number of landmark deals this year, and I look forward to contributing to the organisation’s success in the future.”


About Merlin

Merlin is the global rights agency for the independent label sector.

The organisation’s members command around a 10% share of the US and global recorded music markets and embody more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors worldwide, representing some of the world’s most important artists, including:

  • Beggars Group - Bon Iver, Jack White, The National, Queens of the Stone Age
  • Cooking Vinyl - Billy Bragg, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy
  • Domino - Animal Collective, Anna Calvi, Arctic Monkeys
  • Epitaph - Bad Religion, Tom Waits, Wilco
  • Kobalt Label Services - Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Merge - Arcade Fire, Caribou
  • [PIAS] - Editors, Enter Shikari, Soulwax
  • Warp - Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Grizzly Bear

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 key digital services including Spotify, Pandora, Beats Music, 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.

Merlin has offices in London, with a head office in Amsterdam.

August 28, 2014 10:33am by Name PR  

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