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Merlin and Pandora Cut Direct Licensing Deal for Indie Music

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Global rights agency for the independent label sector, Merlin has cut a direct licensing deal with Pandora. The deal, which applies to the United States, gives Merlin's 20,000 independent record labels and distributors access to Pandora analytics and a long promised communication channel for Merlin artists to directly engage their fans. 

Included in the deal: 

Pandora will accelerate the discovery of new music by combining the expertise of Merlin’s participating labels with Pandora’s data from the Music Genome Project to identify select tracks for additional exposure on Pandora’s playlists targeted to the right listeners.

Merlin’s labels and artists will have direct access to customized metadata and insights. That enables more data-driven decision making including selecting cities for a tour schedule, building concert set lists, or choosing a tour partner.

Pandora will offer customized communication channels for artists on Merlin labels to directly engage their fans.

Commenting on the deal, A2IM President Rich Bengloff said, “Collectively, the independent market share of US recorded music sales has risen dramatically. However, in contrast to this we have seen major labels extract disproportionate value from the emerging online market.  Merlin’s direct partnership with Pandora appears to reverse this trend – putting the independents first in line."

Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren added, “We are deeply committed to harnessing the great potential of internet radio to help musicians of all career stages build their audiences. Independent music has always held a special place at Pandora. These are hardworking artists – many of whom have never received promotion or airtime on terrestrial radio – and their music deserves to be heard.”


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