Merlin strikes multi-territory licensing deal with social platform Kuaishou

The deal makes Merlin member's music available across Kuaishou’s products, including Kwai and SnackVideo

London, UK, 24th October 2022

Merlin, the independent’s digital music licensing partner, and China-based short-form video platform Kuaishou have signed a broad new partnership. This arrangement will make Merlin members’ expansive variety of music available across Kuaishou’s products around the world, including Kwai and SnackVideo. With more than one billion Monthly Active Users worldwide, Kuaishou encourages its global community to share their activities, habits, and more with the core mission to “embrace all lifestyles” — this partnership delivers a best in class deal to Merlin members, while enabling new and immersive experiences for Kuaishou users, including through a vast diversity of artists and diversity of genres.

Under this agreement, Merlin will grow its global reach and presence in regions across Latin American, Southeastern Asia, and Middle East/North Africa, as well as expand Kuaishou’s catalog offering to its worldwide audience. As with all its partners, Merlin will work closely with Kuaishou to be first movers in creating exciting and unique music experiences for users.

Calvin Liu, Head of Kuaishou Overseas Compliance, Communications, and Partnership said, “The deal with Merlin will provide hundreds of millions of our users with an incredibly wide range of independent music, making their experience even better.”

“Merlin’s member repertoire is one of the most iconic and diverse in the world, and we are delighted to bring this vibrant and expansive catalog to the services of Kuaishou,” said Jeremy Sirota, CEO of Merlin. “Independents are the leaders in the social music space, and we look forward to supporting our members in finding new ways to engage longtime listeners as well as find new fans across this platform.” 

Merlin navigates the music ecosystem by striking premium deals with digital services that enable its members to better control their future. Merlin likewise provides digital services with the ability to efficiently license the world’s most valuable independent music. Merlin members account for more than 15% of the global digital music market, representing tens of thousands of labels and hundreds of thousands of artists, with artists from virtually every country in the world.

A shortlist of participating members includes Foundation Media, a multi-purpose media and marketing company specializing in distribution and label services; Kontor New Media, an independent digital distribution company from Hamburg, Germany; MusicYes, an independent music distributor founded by Riccardo Mazzoni, owner of Seven Stars Records and managing digital and publishing rights of top artists of Indonesian Dangdut Music; Secretly, including its own labels and global distribution arm, home to hundreds of distributed labels; and Ditto Music, one of the world’s leading music distribution, publishing, record label services and artist management companies, supporting over 500,000 independent musicians and labels across the globe.

About Kuaishou
Kuaishou is a leading content community and social platform with its mission to be the most customer-obsessed company in the world. Kuaishou has relentlessly been focusing on serving its customers and creating value for them through the continual innovation and optimization of its products and services. At Kuaishou, any user can chronicle and share their life experiences through short videos and live streams and showcase their talents. Working closely with content creators and businesses together, Kuaishou provides product and service offerings that address various user needs that arise naturally, including entertainment, online marketing services, e-commerce, online games, online knowledge-sharing, and more. Kuaishou is a listed company in Hong Kong Stock Exchange with ticker 1024.HK.

About Merlin
Merlin provides independents the means to own their future. Merlin is a member led, music focused organization providing digital music licensing for independents across the globe. Members benefit from Merlin’s premium deals, but work directly with key digital partners. Our membership consists of independent labels, distributors, and other rights-holders, representing tens of thousands of labels and hundreds of thousands of artists from every country in the world. Merlin works collaboratively with our digital partners, delivers value back to those digital partners, and seeks to drive other incremental benefits to our members.

Merlin’s approach has enabled its membership to grow to represent 15% of the global market share. Merlin’s membership includes independents such as Amuse, Armada Music, AVL Group (including CD Baby, DashGo and FUGA), Beggars Group, Cinq Music Group, Dim Mak, DistroKid, Domino, MNRK Music Group, Epitaph Records, Foundation Media, Kontor New Media, Mad Decent, Monstercat, Mushroom Music, Ninja Tune, [PIAS], Pony Canyon, Secret City, Secretly, Symphonic Distribution, Sub Pop, Ultra Records, Vydia, and hundreds more.

Merlin has deals with nearly 40 digital services, including partners like Adaptr, Apple, AWA, Boomplay, Deezer, Facebook/Instagram, JioSaavn, JOOX, KKBox, NetEase, Pandora, Peloton, SberZvuk, Snap, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tencent, TikTok, TREBEL, Triller, UMA, Yandex, YouTube Music, and many other global, regional and strategic partners, as well as being in conversations with dozens more.

Merlin has resources in London, New York, North Carolina, the Netherlands, and Tokyo.

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Dawn Kamerling

Catherine Han 


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.