GLOBAL - INDEPENDENT - DIGITAL

Merlin responds to global demand for independent music with UK & Americas appointments

18 October, 2018

 - Emma Robinson (Member Services Manager) & Leeza Panayiotou (Manager, Legal and Business Affairs) join the London office

 - Poppy Waring promoted to Member Services Assistant 

 - Bela Zecker to join Merlin’s New York office on October 29th as Member Services & Operations Manager, Americas

Merlin has today announced the appointment of three new staff members, boosting both its Member Services and Legal and Business Affairs teams and substantially increasing support services to thousands of independent labels around the world.

As the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, Merlin recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in business, and has already this year struck partnerships with Facebook, Alibaba, NetEase, Tencent and Yandex. In total, Merlin currently has global licences in place with 25 new generation digital music services around the world, reflecting an unprecedented demand for its members’ music.

Based in Merlin’s London office, Emma Robinson joins the team as Member Services Manager. Previously a Senior Account Manager at leading press agency Name PR, where she worked with a range of music and technology clients, Emma will act as first point of contact for Merlin members’ day-to-day interactions.

Also based in London, Poppy Waring graduates from a general assistant role at Merlin to become Member Services Assistant. Emma and Poppy will both report to Tom Deakin, Director, Global Member Services. 

Complementing these appointments, Bela Zecker will join Merlin’s New York office on October 29th to fill the newly-created role of Member Services & Operations Manager, Americas, focusing heavily on the Latin American Markets. With extensive experience in the independent music sector, including positions at Ninja Tune and Really Happening Management, Bela, a fluent Spanish speaker, will both work with Merlin’s growing membership from the LATAM region as well as work to maximise the value of members’ participation in agreements across all Latin American markets.

Merlin’s Legal and Business Affairs Team will also be boosted by the appointment of Leeza Panayiotou, who joins Merlin’s London office as Manager, Legal and Business Affairs. Leeza comes to the newly-created role at Merlin from the Cooking Vinyl Group, having also previously undertaken a secondment at Clintons Solicitors. Leeza will join Ryan McWhinnie, Director, Legal and Business Affairs, in the expanded team led by Chief Commercial Officer & General Counsel, Charlie Lexton. 

Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin said: “I am delighted to welcome Bela, Emma and Leeza to Merlin, and to announce a well-deserved promotion for Poppy. As a global organisation it is crucial that Merlin can react to the sustained demand for independent music and provide the best possible service for our expanding membership. This investment in our staffing will allow us to do that. Wherever in the world they are based, our continued goal is for Merlin members to derive the maximum impact from our global licensing partnerships and to help grow their digital business.”

Jim Mahoney, General Manager, Merlin USA said: “This is fantastic news for Merlin members. Emma, Leeza and Poppy are a real boost to the global team, while Bela’s US expertise ensures that the thousands of indie labels Merlin represents will continue to benefit from the extraordinary growth we’re seeing in recorded markets across Latin America, as well as the rest of the world.”

Merlin’s membership now encompasses tens of thousands of independent labels in 57 countries across all continents. The organisation’s total membership commands in excess of 12% of the global digital recorded music market.

For more information about Merlin, please download our 2018 Impact Report here.  

About Merlin:

Merlin is the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector.

The organisation’s members command in excess of 12% of the digital recorded music market and embody more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from 57 countries.

These include Beggars Group, Secretly Group, Domino, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Anti Records, Entertainment One, Redeye Worldwide, !K7, Kobalt Music Recordings, [PIAS], Merge, Warp, INgrooves, Hopeless Records, Armada Music, Mad Decent, Ninja Tune, Eleven Seven Music, Naxos and Curb Records, representing some of the world’s most important and successful artists.

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 25 key digital services including Facebook, YouTube Music, Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, Alibaba, NetEase and Tencent, and has reached a number of high value copyright infringement settlements on behalf of its members.

Merlin has won ‘Independent Champion’ at the A2IM Libera Awards three times - in ‘15, ‘16 and ‘18.

Merlin has offices in London, New York and Tokyo, with a head office in Amsterdam.

www.merlinnetwork.org