Merlin Announces Key Hires to Meet Booming Global Demand for Indies

With higher payouts and a growing global market share, Merlin hires new staff to make sure it can keep up.

Being an independent label isn’t too bad nowadays.  Just look at the recent numbers.

Collectively, indie labels now outrank major labels in terms of total market share.  Indies had a 32.2% market share the last two years, beating out Universal, Warner, and Sony Music.  Universal came in second with 29.0% in 2016, and 29.7% last year.

But indies have been posting impressive market share figures for years.  What’s changed is the actual cash coming in.  And the Merlin Network, in particular, has been wildly successful.

In annual indie label payouts, the organization representing indie labels hit close to $500 million in annual payouts.  And, after nine years in operation, Merlin has paid out $1 billion to member companies.

Now, to meet growing global demand for independent artists, Merlin has made a very important move.

Keeping up with the booming indie market.

Merlin has announced three key appointments and a promotion in the UK and Americas.

Based in the organization’s London office, Emma Robinson will serve as Member Services Manager.  She previously served as Senior Account Manager at Name PR, a press agency.  Emma will act as the first point of contact for Merlin members’ day-to-day interactions.

Based in London, Poppy Waring has graduated from General Assistant to serve as Member Services Assistant.  Along with Robinson, she’ll report to Tom Deakin, Director of Global Member Services.

Bela Zecker will join Merlin’s New York office on October 29th.  She’ll serve as Member Services and Operations Manager of Americas, focusing on Latin American markets.  In the newly created role, Zecker will work with the organization’s growing membership from the LATAM region.  She’ll also maximize the value of members’ participation in agreements across all Latin American markets.

Leeza Panayiotou will join Merlin’s London office as Manager of Legal and Business Affairs.  She previously served at Cooking Vinyl Group and Clintons Solicitors.  In the newly created role, Panayiotou will join Ryan McWhinnie, Director of Legal and Business Affairs.

Speaking on the growing demand for indie artist and label representation, Charles Caldas, CEO of 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 organization 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 of Merlin USA agreed, stating Merlin members stand to benefit from the appointments.

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.

The organization’s membership now encompasses tens of thousands of indie labels in 57 countries.  Merlin’s total membership commands in excess of 12%of the global digital recorded market.


Featured image by Merlin.

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