Spotify & Merlin Announce New Licensing Deal

Spotify and Merlin agree to new multi-year global license agreement for the world’s leading independent record labels


Spotify, the leading global music streaming service, and Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, today announced a new multi-year license agreement – ensuring the world’s leading independent record labels and their artists will remain at the core of Spotify’s offering to music fans.

Continuing a successful nine-year partnership, the agreement is structured to reflect and promote the value of Merlin’s collective offering of its members’ repertoire, while offering improved marketing and advertising opportunities and enhanced access to data. Merlin member labels can also participate in Spotify’s recently announced flexible release policy.

Frequently referred to as “the virtual fourth major”, Merlin licensed Spotify at launch in 2008 and is the service’s 4th largest partner – offering, via a single global license, access to music from thousands of independent record labels and distributors from more than 50 countries across all continents. These include (in alphabetical order) deeply respected music brands such as Armada Music, Beggars Group, Domino, Entertainment One, Epitaph/Anti, Hopeless Records, Kobalt Music Recordings, Mad Decent, Naxos, [PIAS], Secretly Group, Sub Pop and Warp, representing many of the world’s most important and successful artists.

Over this period, Spotify has enabled Merlin’s member companies to successfully transition their digital business to benefit from the new market dynamics of streaming.

Spotify Cofounder and CEO Daniel EK tweeted:

“Indie music has been a huge part of our success since day one & I am super happy to say we have a new, multi-year deal w/ @merlinnetwork 💚”

Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin said:

“Merlin was a launch partner to Spotify back in 2008, and our partnership has thrived ever since. This new agreement lays the path to future sustainable growth for us both, and we look forward to remaining an integral part in the service’s continued success.” 

Martin Mills, Chairman, Merlin added:

“I’m delighted that Merlin has reached this new agreement with Spotify. We’ve been great partners for each other, and this updated arrangement allows independents in the Merlin community the comfort of knowing they have a highly competitive deal and parity of access to the service, whilst creating a commercial environment in which Spotify can grow to the benefit of all of us.”