Business News Deals Digital

Merlin enters into deal with ad-funded streaming app Trebel

By | Published on Friday 29 October 2021


Indie label digital rights agency Merlin has announced a new deal with Trebel, the US-based digital music company that is seeking to enhance the free music streaming experience, by allowing users who proactively engage with adverts and brands to enjoy functionality usually only available on premium streaming services, in particular offline listening.

Launched in 2018, the app has had most traction to date in Mexico, with plans to expand into a number of other markets next year, Brazil being a priority. Its pitch to the music industry is that the Trebel app attracts those consumers who will never pay to stream, and by increasing engagement with brands it can boost the advertising income in which record labels, music publishers, collecting societies, artists and songwriters can share.

Or, if you want the official pitch verbatim, the company says: “Today, nearly 95% of the world’s 6.4 billion smartphone users do not yet pay for music. Trebel was founded as a means to redirect the loss of revenue from digital piracy back into the music industry. As global smartphone usage grows, Trebel believes the next big opportunity within the music industry will come by helping to improve the experience and monetise these music listeners”.

As for which labels it is currently working with, Trebel filed papers earlier this year with the US Securities And Exchange Commission as part of plans for on Initial Public Offering, in which it said “we maintain contracts with the major labels – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group – and with independent labels such as Ingrooves, Cinq Music Group, Symphonic Distribution, Empire Distribution, Tango Multimedia, DashGo, and Colonize Media”. The Merlin deal will give Trebel access to many more independent labels and distributors.

Confirming the Merlin deal, Trebel co-founder and Head Of Music Corey Jones says: “As we look toward the next ten years, where global smartphone growth is expected to outpace adoption of paid media models, we want to be the pure-play music provider of choice for billions of under-monetised mobile users for whom music is a necessity. Our Merlin partnership will allow us to maximise exposure to independent music throughout the world and ensure the best music experience possible for our growing global user-base. We could not be more excited”.

Meanwhile, Merlin COO Charlie Lexton adds: “We’re very pleased to enter into this agreement to make Merlin members’ music available to Trebel users, giving them access to a diverse array of independent music, whether they’re at home, on the go, online, or unplugged. We’re delighted to partner with a company that – like Merlin – respects music rightsholders and values their hard work”.