Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, recently announced that royalty payments to its 700-plus members for audio streaming hit $353 million for the 12 months ending March 2017 — a 52 percent jump over the previous year. The numbers reflect the streaming boom shaping the music business overall.
Under CEO Charles Caldas, Merlin represents indies that account for over 12 percent of the global digital recorded-music market. In April, Merlin announced a new multiyear global licensing agreement with Spotify. It now has partnerships in place with 20 digital music services.