Merlin Strikes Deal With Dubset to ‘Unlock’ New Revenues For Indies

Billboard - November 30, 2017
By Richard Smirke

by Richard Smirke

Music licensing and digital distribution company Dubset Media has partnered with Merlin in a deal that both parties say will “unlock new revenues” for independent artists and rights holders.

Effective immediately, the partnership adds Merlin’s extensive catalog to the fast-growing list of labels and publishers utilizing Dubset’s MixBANK platform and MixSCAN technology, which enables rights holders to identify samples in song recordings and, more importantly, get paid when their work is featured within a DJ mix.

In August, Sony Music became the first major to partner with Dubset. The San Francisco-head quartered business has also inked deals with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the NMPA and Apple Music to stream mixes on the platform that had previously been unlicensed.

Although Sony remains the only major to fully activate its catalog on the MixBANK platform, Billboard understands that Dubset has also been working with Universal and Warner to ensure that use of their catalogs are being identified and monetized when featured in remix and UGC recordings.

The Merlin deal grows the catalog managed by MixBANK to over 38 million tracks across nearly 40,000 independent and major labels, says Dubset, which was founded in 2010 and also has offices in New York and L.A.

“Adding Merlin’s members to the extraordinary list of labels (and publishers) now managing their catalogs in MixBANK is an important advancement for independent music and artists everywhere,” said Bob Barbiere, Dubset’s chief strategy officer and SVP licensing in a statement.

He went on to say that a large percentage of the content MixBANK is already scanning on a daily basis belongs to Merlin member labels and that the partnership “will have a pronounced impact on the amount of content Dubset will now clear and distribute to music services for consumers.”

“Mix culture has always accounted for a significant portion of online consumption, and Merlin’s membership represents a wide range of artists at the core of this culture,” added Merlin CEO Charles Caldas.

 Caldas said that the deal with Dubset “will unlock new revenues” for Merlin’s global membership and “ensure they can realize even greater value from their repertoire.”

“By creating the technology and tools to put the rights holder in control over UGC, we can increase the size of available music, improve and expand the consumer experience, and grow music’s revenues,” echoed Dubset CEO Stephen White, confidently predicting that the partnership with Merlin would be “an immediate success.”