• Independent Labels Representing 10% Of Global Music Market To Join MySpace Music
  • Deal Sees MySpace Music Further Commit To Independents With Launch Of Growth Participation Plan
  • Merlin Nominee Invited To Participate In MySpace Music Board Meetings

LOS ANGELES–November 23, 2009–MySpace Music, the premier online music community and leading independent music agency Merlin today announced a comprehensive global agreement for Merlin’s member labels to participate in MySpace Music. 

The addition of the Merlin repertoire, representing 10% of the global music market, to MySpace Music’s existing catalogue will create one of the largest independent music offerings on the web.

Through this partnership, the MySpace Music community will be able to stream and purchase music from Merlin’s member labels – which include the Beggars Group, Domino, E1 Music (Previously Koch Records), Naïve, Cooking Vinyl, Tommy Boy, One Little Indian, Epitaph and !K7– as well as distributors including Finetunes, Kontor New Media, Inertia and Redeye.

Artists represented by these labels include Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Antony & The Johnsons, Basement Jaxx, Dorrough, Bjork, Tom Waits, DJ Khaled, Franz Ferdinand, Prodigy, Animal Collective, Rancid and Vampire Weekend.

The deal also sees MySpace Music announcing a plan tailored specifically for the independent music community that offers Merlin what it has sought from the outset – an opportunity to participate in and benefit from the financial growth of MySpace Music – in recognition of its contribution to that growth. 
The same eligibility and level of participation will be offered to all independent labels licensing content to MySpace Music.

In addition, a Merlin nominee has been invited by MySpace Music to attend and participate in an agreed schedule of MySpace Music Board meetings. MySpace Music will now also formally solicit the input and business development perspective of other Independent Label representatives through participation in select MySpace Music Board of Directors meetings. 

We’re excited to have Merlin’s labels join our platform," said Courtney Holt, President of MySpace Music. “We can now provide our users with access to the rich catalog that Merlin brings while simultaneously enabling Merlin labels to monetize their content within the MySpace community and easily track their fan engagement via our Artist Dashboard.”

Today’s announcement further demonstrates both parties' commitment to the independent communities they represent,” added Holt. “MySpace Music values the support of the independent community and it has been a top priority for us to create a program that would reward their steadfast support of the service.  I am thrilled to have a plan in place that will allow them to reap additional financial benefits from their support and loyalty.”

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas commented “We have worked hard with Courtney and the MySpace Music team to find a way by which Merlin’s members could participate in the platform that MySpace Music offers as well as benefit from the long-term value that they bring to the MySpace Music venture”.

The creation of this participation plan, along with the ability for Merlin nominees to participate in MySpace Music board meetings shows that MySpace Music has recognised the value Merlin offers. I believe the announcement of this participation plan will ensure that MSM will move forward with the full support of our members, and by making this plan available to all independents, with the support of the entire independent community.

Beggars Group Chairman, Martin Mills commented “I am very happy that, after considerable effort on all sides, we now have an agreement through Merlin to participate in the exciting opportunities that MySpace Music offers, and that those labels and artists who were so much at the heart of MySpace from the outset will now be a part of and benefit from its growth.”

Said Merlin Chairman Bob Frank “We are all thrilled to enter into this agreement with MySpace and begin maximizing the value of our members content on the MySpace platform. The executives on both sides have worked long and hard to put this together and it clearly is a monumental achievement for the Merlin community and MySpace.”

About MySpace Music
MySpace Music offers an ever-growing catalog of freely streamable audio and video content, user-friendly e-commerce solutions, personal music players, and user and artist playlisting. MySpace Music aims to empower major, independent, and unsigned artists to monetize their content through multiple revenue streams by allowing the MySpace community to freely stream premium content in an ad-supported environment, purchase MP3s and ringtones, create and share playlists, and ultimately buy merchandise, concert tickets, and other digital and physical goods.  MySpace Music also connects artists and fans in the offline arena through various concert series and live events including Secret Shows, Transmissions, Introducing... and The Release. Merlin joins MySpace Music’s existing independent licensors, including The Orchard, IODA, Nettwerk Music Group, INgrooves, IRIS Distribution, Big Fish Media, Curb, Merge, TuneCore and RoyaltyShare.

About Merlin
Merlin, the virtual fifth major, represents the world's most important set of independent music rights.  Merlin commenced operations in May 2008. Since then it has struck deals with a number of digital services including Spotify, Catch Media and i-Mesh. Merlin ensures members have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are properly protected. Merlin represents by far the largest and most compelling basket of global independent rights, and so offers the most efficient means of licensing this repertoire. A global organisation, its members’ market share in the US alone is around 10%, equivalent to that of the smaller major labels, whilst in Europe member labels released 72% of the top 60 independent albums released in the past three years and commanded a 75% UK market share of the top 75 independent albums in 2007. Most recently, streaming service Spotify publicly announced that Merlin repertoire represented over 10% of the usage on its service.