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Merlin Renews Licensing Agreement With Meta

Merlin, the digital licensing partner for the independent music sector, announced that it renewed its licenses with Meta on Wednesday (June 12). That means the music of Merlin members — releases from labels like Domino, Secretly, Ninja Tune, Warp Records and many more — can continue to be discovered on Facebook and Instagram. 

“This renewal is about more than simply licensing music – it’s about the strength of building long term relationships, seeking innovative ways to deliver music to fans and those discovering our artists for the first time, and the value of the dynamic nature of independent music,” Jeremy Sirota, CEO of Merlin, said in a statement. “Merlin, on behalf of its members and their artists, is leading the way to build an ethical, sustainable, and indie-centric world.”

“Meta is thrilled to renew our partnership with Merlin, one of the leading champions of independent music,” added Tamara Hrivnak, vice president of music & content business development at Meta. “Our continued collaboration will foster further innovation in music discovery and creative expression. We’re excited for what the future holds.”

Merlin’s global membership accounts for around 15% of the recorded music market, and Merlin negotiates deals not only with Meta but with Apple, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, and more than 40 other platforms. 

“In an industry that has always been in flux, Merlin is the steady hand,” Sirota explained earlier this year. “Merlin doesn’t have investors looking for an exit. There is no parent company with different motives. We are a mission-driven organization that operates like a not-for-profit and is funded entirely by our members.”  

As short-form video platforms have become increasingly important for driving music discovery, artists are eager to make their songs available through platforms like Reels. And Reels took on even more importance earlier this year when Universal Music Group’s licensing negotiations with TikTok fell apart. 

Historically, no short-form video platform has been able to match TikTok when it comes to causing a previously unknown song to erupt into the public consciousness overnight. When the wider music industry realized it might have to live without TikTok as a marketing tool at some point, many marketers redoubled their efforts to reach an audience through Reels and YouTube Shorts. 

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