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New Agency Seeks to Promote Indie Music Labels

Merlin, a new agency that seeks to represent the world’s independent music sector, has agreed to a deal with the digital music company Snocap that will allow music from Merlin clients to be sold from Web sites like MySpace. The group announced the deal at the annual MidemNet music conference in France, saying it would allow thousands of independent labels across the world to sell digital downloads of their music. Merlin said it would act as the “fifth major” in the world and would help independent labels get better deals. Snocap was founded by the creator of Napster, Sean Fanning. The downloads will be sold in the MP3 format, meaning they can be played on any portable music player including the iPod. “This immediately opens up what is currently the most popular Web site in the world to the independent labels,” Merlin’s chief executive, Charles Caldas, said. The independent label sector accounts for 30 percent of the music sold worldwide.