The Brag Media
News January 11, 2024

Mushroom’s Chris Maund Reappointed to Merlin Board

Senior Journalist, B2B
Mushroom’s Chris Maund Reappointed to Merlin Board

Chris Maund, COO of Mushroom Music, is the sole Australian representative on the board for Merlin, the global independent music industry’s digital rights agency.

Melbourne-based Maund is one of 10 members returning to serve another term, joining Pascal Bittard, founder and CEO, IDOL (France); Marie Clausen, managing director North America, Ninja Tune (U.S.); Tom Deakin, head of EMEA, AudioSalad (U.K.);Carlos Mills, founder, Mills Records (Brazil); Louis Posen, president & executive director, Hopeless Records (U.S.); Michael Ugwu, CEO, Freeme Digital (Nigeria); Darius Van Arman, Co-CEO, Secretly (U.S.); Horst Weidenmueller, CEO & owner, !K7 (Germany); and Justin West, president & CEO, Secret City (Canada).

Six indie executives are newly elected to the board for 2024-25: Golda Bitterli, VP of sales, Revelator (Israel); Jeffrey Chiang, director of global business, Fluxus (South Korea); Fer Isella, founder and CEO, limbo music (Spain); Irina Lipczyk-Kolakovska, digital distribution lead, e-muzyka (Poland); Simon Wheeler, director of global commercial strategy, Beggars (U.K.); and Megan Jasper, CEO, Sub Pop (U.S.).

Also, reads a statement from Merlin, Jennifer Newman Sharpe, general counsel, Exceleration, and Dorothee Imhoff, CCO, FUGA, are appointed as board advisors, while Secretly’s Van Arman is reappointed as chairperson for a second term.

The board is elected from and by its membership, which represents tens of thousands of independent record labels, distributors, and rightsholders, including K7, Beggars Group, Curb Records, Domino, Epitaph Records, Mushroom Music, Ninja Tune, [PIAS], Pony Canyon, Sub Pop, Wagram Music and Warp Records.

Maund and the rest of the board bring a “wealth of experience to guide the organisation in its mission to help independents stay independent,” reads a statement, as Merlin “continues to secure premium deals with partners such as Apple, Deezer, Meta, Peloton, Snap, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, and more”.

Among the outgoing board members are Beggars Group founder Martin Mills and PIAS co-founder Michel Lambot, both legends of the independent music scene who helped launch Merlin back in 2008 with Australian indie executive Charles Caldas (now with Exceleration), and several others.

Today, its global membership is gathered from 68 countries, representing 15% of the worldwide recorded music market, reads a statement.

Following the completion of its initial build of a Data Warehouse in 2023, Merlin should start to provide “actionable insights derived from its collective data” in the year ahead, explains the trade body’s CEO Jeremy Sirota.

“Part of that plan includes expanding our data and insights team,” he explains in an email.

“This expansion is aimed at ensuring we can deliver insights that help our members make informed decisions and foster growth. These moves underscore Merlin’s dedication to not only supporting but also revolutionizing the way our independent members engage with the digital platforms to bring their music to fans around the world.”


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