Merlin Deal Heralds Boost for Master Quality Audio

World’s leading independent labels strike multi-year agreement to encode masters in MQA

MQA and Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, have announced a multi-year agreement that will support the world’s best-known independent labels to encode their master recordings in MQA’s industry-leading technology. 

The partnership will boost the uptake and growth of master quality audio streaming, and paves the way for Merlin member labels and their artists to remain at the forefront of the market.

Merlin acts collectively on behalf of thousands of independent record labels and distributors from more than 50 countries, allowing them effective access to new and emerging digital revenue streams. On their behalf, Merlin has agreed global deals with the world’s most important new-generation digital music services, including Deezer, Google Play, KKBOX, Pandora, Soundcloud, Spotify, VEVO and YouTube.

Mike Jbara, CEO of MQA, said:

MQA’s commitment is to provide exceptional sound quality from the studio recording all the way through to the consumer.  We’re excited to work with the cream of the independent sector to further fuel the availability of master quality recordings for music fans.”

Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin, commented:

“We are delighted to be partnering with MQA. From our own data, we know that Merlin members’ repertoire performs best on paid-for subscription tiers*, and it’s to this high-spending consumer demographic that hi-resolution audio will have the greatest appeal. Consequently, today’s future-facing agreement makes perfect sense – offering our independent label members a fast track entry point to an exciting segment of the streaming market, and ensuring they remain at its forefront.”

* Merlin analysis 2016: usage of Merlin members’ repertoire on audio streaming/subscription services is 27% higher on paid tiers compared to free ad-funded tiers.  Survey summary here.

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