New era for Merlin as Jeremy Sirota appointed CEO
Merlin, which represents the digital rights of 20,000 independent labels and distributors the world over, has entered a new era.
Sirota will divide his work between New York and London.
“With the digital music market potentially on the brink of another wave of transformative change, it’s vital that independents continue to have an organisation that represents their interests, ensures the value of their repertoire is respected, and keeps pace with innovation,” he says.
With a background as an intellectual property attorney, Sirota led Facebook’s efforts to license and acquire recorded music rights from independent record labels and distributors around the world for social music features across Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger.
He was earlier at Warner Music Group in various roles for eight years.
Most notably Sirota was SVP and head of business & legal affairs for Warner-Elektra-Atlantic (WEA) and its indie distribution arm Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), where he built up global partnerships.
He negotiated the commercial terms of the three largest deals in ADA history, representing US$75 million.
He also helped to establish Level Music, WMG’s distribution platform for self-releasing artists.
In another change, former Epitaph GM Dave Hansen moves to executive chairperson.
Hansen notes, “Jeremy brings a deep-seated knowledge of independent music and a reputation for embracing new, exciting and transformational technologies.
“We believe he can build on the groundbreaking work of Charles Caldas and ensure Merlin’s membership continues to thrive in a global digital music market.”
Merlin’s management includes Charlie Lexton (CCO) and Helen Alexander (CFO), both based in the UK, and Jim Mahoney (VP Global Operations) in the US.
Eight new executives join the 15-person board, displaying greater diversity with execs from Korea, Nigeria and Brazil.
Australia continues to be represented by Merida Sussex, co-founder and managing director of award-winning Stolen Recordings, and lead singer with Paradise Motel.
In another significant change, Merlin is moving its headquarters from the Netherlands to Dublin, Ireland.
In 2018, it processed $845 million in payments to indie labels from streaming services.