Merlin and Deezer renew partnership around new streaming model to ensure continuous growth for indie music 

Collaboration integrates Deezer’s artist centric royalty model across Merlin’s membership of independent record labels, distributors, and other rights holders

London, UK, 21st March 2024 Merlin, the independents digital music licensing partner, and Deezer, one of the worlds leading music experience platforms, are excited to announce their renewed partnership. This new collaboration will protect the way independent music is experienced and valued by integrating Deezers artist centric royalty model across Merlins dynamic membership of independent record labels, distributors, and other rights holders who represent high-quality music from around the world.


Deezers new royalty model represents one of several new approaches being explored by streaming services. The model, which is currently being rolled out in France, includes an incentive for artists with a consistent and engaged fan base, rewards engaging content, and reasserts a focus on music, as well as enhanced fraud detection measures. Merlins participation in this model ensures its independent members are fairly compensated for their artists music and works towards ensuring a healthy and sustainable music ecosystem for artists.


Im very happy to see that Merlin and its members are embracing Deezer’s artist centric model and joining us in redefining artist remuneration in the streaming era, to make sure artists are paid more fairly for their music,” said Jeronimo Foglueira, CEO, Deezer. From the start, our ambition has been that the new model should serve all artists with a consistent fan base, including the indie acts represented by the membership of Merlin.” 


Merlin’s mission is to ensure that the voices of its independent members are heard and that they have access to the most innovative opportunities in the digital marketplace while ensuring their artists are fairly compensated,” said Jeremy Sirota, CEO, Merlin. We have worked with Deezer to ensure their new model works for the benefit of our members, representing a path forward in ensuring that high-quality music, and the artists who create it, are recognized and rewarded in the manner they deserve.”


Deezers approach to this new model comes at a crucial time, as digital platforms test new solutions for ensuring the quality and fair value of music. By prioritizing artist and fan engagement, Merlin and Deezer are exploring a more purposeful music streaming experience.


Ryan McWhinnie, VP of Business and Legal Affairs, Merlin, noted: Renewing our partnership with Deezer highlights Merlins commitment to our mission and the importance of collaboration in shaping a future where independent music thrives. I was pleased to work so closely with the Deezer team to finalize this renewal.”


About Merlin

Merlin is the independents digital music licensing partner. Weve negotiated premium deals with Apple, Deezer, Meta, SoundCloud, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, and 40 other innovative platforms around the world. Our global membership is from nearly 70 countries around the world, representing 15% of the recorded music market. We are independent record labels, distributors, label services companies, and other rightsholders. We are a mission-driven organization that operates like a not-for-profit and is funded entirely by our members at a 1.5% admin fee. Merlins world-class relationships, white-glove support, and suite of partnerships helps independents compete at the highest level.


Merlins membership includes independents such as Armada Music, AudioSalad, Because Music, CD Baby and Downtown Music (including FUGA), Cinq Music Group, Domino, EMPIRE, Epitaph Records, Freeme Digital, IDOL, !K7, Kontor New Media, Label Engine, Lex Records, Mad Decent, MNRK Music Group, Monstercat, Mushroom Music, Nettwerk Music, Ninja Tune, [PIAS], Polyvinyl Records, Pschent, Redeye, Saddle Creek Records, Secret City, Secretly, Sub Pop, Symphonic, Too Lost, Vydia, Warp Records, Zebralution, and hundreds more.


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Deezer is one of the worlds largest independent music experiences platforms, connecting fans with artists and creating ways for people to Live the music. The company provides access to a full-range catalog of high quality music, lossless HiFi audio and industry-defining features on a scalable platform available in 180+ countries. Founded in 2007 in Paris, Deezer is now a global company with over 600 people based in France, Germany, UK, Brazil and the US, all brought together by their passion for music, technology and innovation. By building strategic partnerships in key markets across Europe and the Americas, Deezer keeps delivering brand value and end-user engagement across a wide variety of industries, including telecommunications, media, audio hardware and e-retail. As an industry thought leader, Deezer was the first platform to introduce a new monetization model since the inception of music streaming, designed to better reward the artists, and the music that fans value the most. Deezer is listed on Euronext Paris (Ticker: DEEZR. ISIN: FR001400AYG6) and is also part of the Euronext Tech Leaders segment, dedicated to European high-growth tech companies, and its associated index. 


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Deezer – Live the music


Merlin provides independents the means to own their future. We are a member led, music focused organization. We provide digital music licensing for the leading independents across the globe.