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Merlin Partnership Brings Its Top Global Indie Artists to Sony's "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™" Cloud-based Digital Music Service
Jun 23, 2011 (07:06 PM EDT)


- Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Grizzly Bear, Scooter, She & Him, Spoon, Talib Kweli, The Temper Trap, Tim McGraw among acts available to "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™" subscribers

LONDON, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Global rights agency Merlin has partnered with Sony Corporation ("Sony") to deliver Merlin's top global artists' music through Sony's cloud-based digital music service "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™" across Sony's network-enabled devices.

Through this partnership, service subscribers in the U.S., France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand are able to enjoy music from Merlin's top global indie artists including Arctic Monkeys, The Temper Trap, DJ Khaled, Villagers, Jim Jones, Franz Ferdinand, Maximo Park, Four Tet, Tim McGraw, and Boards of Canada from independents including Domino, Curb, Merge, Warp, Yep Roc/Red Eye, Epitaph, Naxos, Inertia, Ninja Tune, !K7, Naive, One Little Indian, Kontor, and hundreds more. Merlin's artists also have an exciting new music platform to reach and monetize music fans.

"We are very excited to see the evolution of innovative cloud-based digital music services like 'Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity' in the digital market bringing music to millions of people around the world on a wide range of connected devices," said Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin. "With the addition of our members' artists' repertoire to the catalogue, and the global reach of the Sony service, we believe that the service is well placed to attract a large amount of consumers, generating legitimate revenue for rights holders and taking digital music consumption to the next level of mass market appeal."

Omnifone provides its award-winning platform services to deliver the service across a range of device platforms, as well as licensing the service with rights holders for Sony in various global markets. Omnifone CEO Jeff Hughes commented, "Having Merlin within the 'Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity' global catalogue provides the independent repertoire that dominates the charts in several markets, making Merlin a valuable component of any global music service."

Sony's relationship with Merlin is for global distribution of Merlin artists on the Sony service, with Merlin member's repertoire initially available in nine countries: U.S., France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

With Merlin's members' digital market share reported at around 10 per cent of the global market, Merlin provides an invaluable solution to digital music services looking to offer their users the world's most important independent labels.

About Merlin

Merlin, the virtual fifth major, represents the world's most important set of independent music rights. Merlin commenced operations in May 2008 and since then has struck deals with a number of digital services including Rdio, Spotify, MySpace Music, Catch Media, Simfy, and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity. Merlin seeks to ensure its members have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.

Merlin represents by far the largest and most compelling basket of global independent rights in the world and so offers the most efficient means of licensing this repertoire. Members include, Warp Records, Epitaph, Naive, Tommy Boy, One Little Indian, Yep Roc/Red Eye, Kontor New Media, Merge, !K7, PIAS, Domino and Koch/E1. Their artists include, Arcade Fire, Neko Case, Tom Waits, Spoon, Grizzly Bear, DJ Khaled, Dorrough, Tiesto, Scooter and many, many more.

A global organization, its members' market share in the US alone is reported at around 10%, equivalent to that of the smaller major labels, whilst in Europe member labels released 72% of the top 60 independent albums issued in the past three years and commanded a 11% digital UK market share in 2009. For more information please visit www.merlinnetwork.org.

"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" Features

"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" is currently available to consumers via Sony's 2010 and 2011 models of network-enabled BRAVIA® HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc™ players, Blu-ray Disc Home Theater systems, as well as the PlayStation®3, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable), personal computers including VAIO® personal computers, Sony Ericsson's Android-based mobile devices including Xperia™ arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia X10, Xperia X8 and Xperia neo, and Android-based third party devices.

With Basic and Premium monthly subscription plans(*1), "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" offers breadth of content, with currently over seven million songs, and easy music discovery features cited as most important by music enthusiasts.

The Basic plan works as an infinite ad-free radio station and subscribers can listen to dozens of personalized channels – categorized by genre, era as well as mood through SensMe™ (*2). Furthermore, users can also scan and match their owned music files and playlists from other media players including iTunes® to the "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" catalogue and enjoy their existing music at any time across all compatible devices(*3).

Additionally, the Premium subscription plan enables users to search and listen in full to every song on the catalogue on demand, create personal playlists of favorites, and gain access to premium Top 100 channels which are regularly updated with the latest hits.

By studying users' listening habits, incorporating their 'like/dislike' song ratings, analyzing their existing music collections and more, "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" adapts to users' music preferences and constantly tailors music channels to offer the most compatible and enjoyable list of songs. Therefore, the more you listen, the more uniquely personalized your music channels become.

(*1) Basic service offering is $3.99, 3.99 pounds Sterling, euro 3.99, AU$4.99, NZ$5.99 per month; Premium service is $9.99, 9.99 pounds Sterling, euro 9.99, AU$12.99, NZ$13.99 per month

(*2) SensMe™ is Sony's proprietary 12 Tone Analysis technology to evaluate music tracks

(*3) Applies to DRM-free music files and to music which has been licensed for playback on "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity"

"Qriocity™," "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™," "Bravia®," "VAIO®," "Music Sync™" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Corporation

"PlayStation®" and "PSP®" are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

"SensMe™" are trademarks of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB

"Blu-ray Disc™" is a trademark of the Blu-ray Disc  Association

'"iTunes®" is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

SOURCE Merlin