Merlin has revealed a raft of promotions as it marks its 15th anniversary.
In that time, the independents’ digital music licensing partner has grown to represent 15% of the global recorded music market share. Merlin’s growing membership spans the rights of tens of thousands of labels from 68 countries around the world.
The promotions at Merlin are:
Ryan McWhinnie - vice president, business and legal Affairs
Ryan McWhinnie is responsible for leading on Merlin’s Spotify and China deals. Last year, he concluded renewal negotiations on the Resso deal. He also closed Merlin’s first gaming deal (with Styngr) and is leading discussions on various possible NFT agreements.
Shrina Patel - senior director, business and legal affairs
In the past year, Shrina Patel has navigated YouTube’s Creator programme, Merlin’s Facebook renewal, and the year-long TikTok renegotiation.
Chris Tarbet - senior director, commercial partnerships
Chris Tarbet played a key role in leading Merlin’s entry into Spotify’s DJ Mixes, YouTube Shorts and Creator market, as well as the launch of the centralised pitching tool.
Chaida Kapfunde - senior director, business and technology solutions
Merlin said Chaida Kapfunde has been a champion in leveraging technology to launch new products, as well as automating many portions of jobs at Merlin.
Pavan Vasdev - director, strategy & growth
Pavan Vasdev’s role is evolving into more strategic areas, including a data-led approach to Merlin’s member acquisition efforts.
Quentin Martins - senior manager, commercial partnerships
Quentin Martins is a key figure in terms of commercial partnerships, including know-how for YouTube and TikTok.
Grace Styles - senior finance assistant
Merlin said Grace Styles has taken the lead on questions about processes and systems, emerging as a “future finance leader”.
“I’d like to congratulate each of these Merliners on their well-deserved promotions,” said CEO Jeremy Sirota. “Coming off an incredible 2022, our team stepped up to numerous challenges and accomplished tremendous work for our members and the independent community.
“Shared ownership is a core value at Merlin - each of these individuals played an important role in supporting their departments, helping everyone at Merlin, and driving value so our members can own their independence to chart a better future for the music industry.”
Merlin’s 15th anniversary celebration will include various events, initiatives and activations throughout the year, including an upcoming party for members and partners on June 14 during A2IM Indie Week in New York.
Merlin’s premium deals with digital partners include Apple, Deezer, Meta, SoundCloud, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, and 40 other digital partners around the world. Partnerships also include other platforms such as Pinterest, Snap, Supernatural and Twitch, which help to take independent music into social media, fitness apps and gaming.