Merlin is pulling member tracks from German streaming service Simfy. The massive independent music licensor took action after new management at Simfy failed to report royalties over the summer months. Most money due has now been received, but a series of contentious exchanges with Simfy led Merlin chief Charles Caldas to pull the plug six months prior to their deal expiring.
"We have recently tried to engage the service's new management in a discussion about the equity interest Merlin was granted in the company," Caldas wrote in an email to Merlin member labels. "These discussions culminated last week in the new CEO contacting us to make clear that he considers the Merlin relationship insignificant to Simfy's business (although we have a market share on the service well in excess of 12%) . We have no confidence that the new ownership of the business understands the value of Merlin's repertoire or intends to honour the terms of the agreement on equity and last week's fruitless discussions made it clear that the best option for Merlin was termination of the agreement."
Merlin has demanded that Simfy take down and delete all member content immediately and report and pay for usage during September. "We have also reserved all of Merlin's rights in relation to the equity issue referred to above and have appointed a German law firm to represent us in this action," Caldas told his members.