Facebook has signed a multi-territory licensing deal with London-based Pan-European licensing hub International Copyright Enterprise Operations (ICE) to provide royalty payouts on music. It will support the ongoing development of the social media firm’s rights reporting systems. The deal will cover licensing and royalties whenever music is represented by ICE is used on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger. The deal excludes WhatsApp, as that service is purely a private messaging tool that doesn’t require music licenses.
This is the first time Facebook has signed a multi-territorial license deal with an online hub. Facebook Head of music publishing business development, Anjali Southward said, “Facebook’s journey with music is just beginning and we look forward to working with ice and songwriters to build a community together around music.”
ICE Services Ben Mcewen commented, “The future of music depends on our industries working together to enable the development of new models for music consumption in the digital age, to ensure a healthy future for songwriters and composers.”
ICE is an European online rights hub with a catalog of about 31 million works, representing STIM (collecting society for songwriter, publisher and composer) in Sweden, PRS (Performing Right Society) in the UK (and other territories), GEMA (Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights) in Germany, and more.
ICE, established by PRS, STIM and GEMA, currently has over 40 online music licenses in place with some of the world’s largest music streaming platforms and has distributed over €300m to rights holders since 2016.
The deal is the first of its kind to be agreed with an online licensing and processing hub, and follows agreements with Universal Music Group, Sony/ATV, SESAC’s HFA/Rumblefish platform, Kobalt Music Publishing and Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights. Collecting royalty is potentially a profitable business as streaming services continue to grow and overtake other formats of music consumption.