updated 02:00 pm EDT, Mon May 5, 2008
Merlin Pushes Online Music
Smaller music labels may soon get better deals and rights for their content at iTunes and other online stores through moves being made in recent weeks by indie music collective group Merlin. The organization has recently opened signups and says it has already received the support of more than 12,000 labels that will unite to press for better conditions for their artists.
By operating under a single banner, the Merlin labels hope to both speed up negotiations for licensing and posting music at online stores as well as to secure better deals. With independents accounting for about 27.5 percent of all music, one larger representative is more likely to secure better royalty terms and use rights than by themselves, according to an Ars Technica report. A single entity is also more likely to speed along deals by allowing a single deal to represent multiple organizations.
Deals with "existing music services" are already said to be in place but will also include yet-to-open services, such as MySpace Music. The News Corp.-run site has often been considered a focus of independent artists but has so far only opted for revenue sharing agreements with major labels.