Merlin is a very cool company that is succeeding with a new model for success as a “major label.” Unlike traditional labels, Merlin actually represents a huge number of indie labels under a single banner (via ArsTech):
“Merlin isn’t a “real” label in the sense that it doesn’t do business the same way. The group negotiates licensing arrangements on behalf of its members so that small labels can get the benefits of a more sizable organization, but Merlin does not take any control of copyrights and does not do marketing or promotion.”
This is a great example of building a business model in response to current conditions. Instead of desperately trying to hold onto the old model where making money was about selling albums, Merlin saw a need a provided a solution.
The Majors could learn a lesson from them…but they probably won’t.