Merlin Officially Launches ‘Merlin Connect,’ a One-Stop Licensing Solution for ‘Promising Emerging Technology Platforms’

merlin connect
  • Save

merlin connect
  • Save
Merlin Connect, a licensing option for emerging platforms, has officially launched. Photo Credit: Merlin

Merlin has officially debuted a program that will afford certain emerging platforms access to pre-cleared music and “mutually beneficial collaborations.”

The indie mainstay just recently announced this initiative, dubbed Merlin Connect. As described by the London-based organization, the offering will be available only to “a select group of promising emerging technology platforms.”

Said platforms must apply for enrollment consideration, per Merlin, which intends to zero in on each service’s “capacity for innovation and evolution,” leadership strength, and team resilience.

In sum, that seemingly refers to platforms with the potential to make a material commercial splash in the long term, presumably delivering heightened licensing payments and promotion along the way. As Merlin sees it, properly licensing music (which has, of course, proven an expensive obstacle in the past) “remains a prohibitive challenge.”

“The majority of technology companies that attempt to license quality music find the process challenging, time consuming, and expensive,” the Canva and Audiomack partner explained. “That means very few platforms have the opportunity to experiment and learn how quality music can have a positive impact on their users and change the trajectory of their growth.”

Building on the point, Merlin spelled out that it, far from employing a hands-off approach to licensing under the initiative, aims to assist “approved partners to maximize the impact of music.”

When it comes to member compensation, Merlin Connect is expected to attach “a fair valuation” to the involved works, besides ostensibly fueling “unique marketing opportunities” as well as ground-level relationships with rising platforms.

Elaborating on the latter idea, Merlin CEO Jeremy Sirota drove home an overarching objective of enabling “independent members and their artists to sit at the forefront of music and technology.”

“Merlin Connect is our commitment to finding and unlocking new opportunities for our members in a disruptive industry,” Sirota communicated in part. “Our audacious goal is to partner with the next suite of platforms that shape the future of music monetization for Merlin’s members. We want our independent members and their artists to sit at the forefront of music and technology.”

Moving forward, it’ll be worth monitoring the results delivered by Merlin Connect, which appears a particularly worthwhile initiative given the well-documented licensing woes of many sizable platforms.

Those woes, not to mention the potentially prohibitive costs and timetables associated with exploring even pre-packaged licensing options, have undoubtedly dissuaded up-and-coming services from tapping into music.

Less than two years have passed since Songclip, a self-described “music licensing and integration solution for offering music as a feature in dating apps, gaming apps, messaging apps, social platforms, and more,” announced a Universal Music pact.

Boasting a “plug-and-play API,” the startup allowed third-party apps to add song snippets as long as 45 seconds. But even licensing parts of tracks via the process at hand required anywhere from eight weeks to eight months, according to Songclip, the website for which currently displays a “page not found” error message.