Jeremy Sirota has given his first public address since his appointment as Merlin CEO in January.
Sirota spoke at the virtual AIM House event to outline the agency’s achievements and support for the indies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m super proud that my team has adapted to this new way of working,” said Sirota. “It is a testament to their resilience, their commitment to our members and our digital partners, and to the tremendous support provided by our senior leadership.”
Merlin is monitoring the streaming market and falling advertising rates closely during the pandemic. Streaming volumes were affected early in the crisis, though Spotify subscriber numbers are hitting forecasts
“As a digital-only company, our business has not been as heavily impacted by Covid-19,” said Sirota. “We are, of course, concerned about the health of independents around the world and that we can all come out healthy on the other side of this crisis. For us, we’re keeping a close eye on CPM rates, subscriber numbers and conversion rates at the streaming services, and whether new companies will continue to enter the music space.”
Sirota highlighted the deal with Apple Music to secure advances for labels with direct deals during the pandemic. It recently secured a licensing deal with TikTok.
“While I will always advocate for the value of independent repertoire, it’s also important to find opportunities that are mutually beneficial for our members and our digital partners, and to build sustainable partnerships for the long term,” he said.
“We’re seeing an accelerated growth of membership in regions like the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe, as well as continued growth in Latin America,” he said. “We’re also seeing the continued growth in a new type of member. That includes DIY distributors, artist management companies, and hybrid entities.”