PRS, STIM and GEMA reveal world’s first integrated licensing and processing hub will launch under the ICE brand

02 November 2015

PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA today revealed that the ICE brand will expand to include the new services of the joint venture hub following competition clearance in June this year.

The ICE copyright database – which has operated since 2010 – powers the heart of the new venture in addition to giving its name to the entire hub operation.

The existing ICE branding refreshes with a new master logo and an additional set of service descriptor logos.

The ICE brand expands with the following suite of services:

ICE Operations – providing state of the art online matching and processing services, together with authoritative multi-territorial copyright services.

ICE Services – providing business enhancing middle-office services including invoicing, legal support and business intelligence analysis to both ICE Licensing customers and those offering bespoke services, such as Solar, Aresa and PEDL.

ICE Licensing – providing consolidated licensing of PRS for Music, GEMA and STIM’s multi-territory online rights and options for other rights holders to join the same core licence.

In addition, ICE partners announced the first appointments to the new expanded ICE offering. Ben McEwen will transfer from PRS for Music to take up post as Commercial Director of ICE Licensing to lead the licensing and front office rightsholder acquisition and management functions. Neil Jones will be seconded from PRS for Music as the Services Director for ICE Services and will drive the setup of the operational and professional functions.

Robert Ashcroft was appointed as the CEO of the ICE Licensing and ICE Services arm of the hub earlier this summer, in addition to his role as Chief Executive of PRS for Music. He has responsibility for delivering a hub that encourages the aggregation of music repertoires and offer state-of-the art rights management systems run from a single, authoritative database.

Robert Ashcroft said, “The DNA of this hub has been forged from the same qualities as the ICE copyright database, which was in itself born of collaboration and a strong will to solve big problems in the market place. ICE is a truly mass market proposition that will appeal to the widest cross section of rightsholders and digital service providers operating across Europe. ICE builds out the brand with a truly flexible suite of options. It is set to deliver security, speed and reliability very cost effectively to all customers.”

Following launch, ICE will support over 250,000 rightsholders and multi-territory digital music companies across Europe.

ICE brings a unique offering to customers, not currently met elsewhere with a flexible suite of services which include an authoritative copyright database, matching, processing and licensing services. It has been developed from best-in-class technologies which will deliver unparalleled economies of scale, speed, efficiency, accuracy and business intelligence reporting. It is the fruition of a partnership that harnesses years of combined experience in collective management, servicing and shaping the digital market from the outset.

The benefits will be wide reaching, offering solutions to rightsholders and a simpler, more streamlined process for digital service providers (DSPs) seeking pan-European music licences. The economies of scale and increased efficiencies will deliver cost saving benefits to rightsholders and greater simplicity for DSPs. ICE offers a potential transformative benefit to new and smaller music repertoires as inclusion into the core licence enables the potential for greater access to DSPs.

Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen CEO STIM added: “ICE is a unique offering that combines the expertise of the three owners within copyright administration and multi-territory online licensing and processing. ICE has been developed to deliver quality solutions to an increasingly international and borderless market and we are confident that ICE will continue setting new benchmarks for the services rightsholders and music users can expect in this market”.

Dr Harald Heker, CEO GEMA said: “The collaborative effort in launching this new enhanced ICE is one that we are very proud of. ICE brings new economies of scale within reach of all rightsholders and will simplify the licensing market.”

The creation of ICE follows the need to match with greater accuracy the songwriters, composers and publishers of individual streams of music in a world where trillions of music streams rise exponentially each year. ICE enables single usage report matching of aggregated repertoires across Europe using the best-of-breed technologies of the three collection agencies PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA.

The new joint venture will become the first multi-repertoire hub to provide integrated ‘back office’ data processing services as well as ‘front office’ online licensing services.

Notes to Editors

The announcement follows competition clearance by the European Commission in June 2015. All DSPs operating on a multi-territory basis will be welcomed as licensing customers, and publishers and collection societies will be welcomed as customers for either the full suite of services including licensing, or a selection of back office services to fit their individual needs.

PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA related repertoire will be on-boarded to the state-0f-the-art new processing system this year and will include SPVs Solar, ARESA and PEDL. The core licence will be available from 2016 onwards and will include the repertoires of the three societies. Solar, ARESA and PEDL will continue to license their own repertoires independently.

Some of the ways ICE is meeting the challenges of a rapidly evolving, fragmented music market:

Big data expertise: ICE has world-class ‘back office’ data processing services that is fit for purpose in the new digital era, monitoring billions of streams of usage data annually.
Accuracy & speed: The joint venture will resolve issues related to split-copyright licensing by integrating back office processing and matching services with front office licensing services. This will result in ensuring that its systems will record copyrighted works accurately, reducing the possibility of licensees receiving incorrect invoices and eliminating hold ups and disputes.
Driving innovation: ICE offers simplified licensing negotiations for digital music services operating across Europe, reducing barriers for innovative new online services.
Supporting cultural diversity: ICE will bring multi-territory licensing within reach of smaller repertoires to promote diversity in the industry. Fully transparent: ICE is fully in line with the transparency aims of the Collective Rights Management Directive and is fully transparent for all rightsholders, with confidence inspired by collective ownership.

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 111,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914. PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £3.8bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £664.3m in 2014, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music’s network represents over two million music creators.

STIM is a Swedish collective management organization for music creators and publishers. On their behalf, STIM administers and licenses performing and mechanical rights to music and lyrics. STIM is a non-profit organization representing 77, 000 songwriters, composers, text authors and music publishers worldwide.

GEMA represents in Germany the copyrights of more than 70,000 members (composers, text authors and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders from all over the world. It is one of the largest societies for authors of works of music in the world.


Hayley Miller – Marketing & Communications Manager


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