Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

Peermusic allies with ICE

By | Published on Thursday 19 April 2018

ICE

Independent music publisher Peermusic has followed Downtown in allying with copyright hub ICE on multi-territory digital licensing in Europe.

How about a bit of ‘Digital Dollar’ style background here? When it comes to song rights, streaming services can get licences for most of the songs they stream via the collective licensing system.

However, the big five music publishers – Sony/ATV, Universal, Warner/Chappell, BMG and Kobalt – often license their Anglo-American catalogues through direct deals. Albeit in partnership with the Anglo-American collecting societies, which actually control the performing rights in those songs – streaming services needing to exploit both the ‘mechanical’ and ‘performing’ rights that exist in music.

The big five reckoned they could get better rates from the streaming services by going the direct licensing route on their Anglo-American repertoires, and in most cases that worked. So much so, the bigger indie publishers decided they wanted a bit of that direct licensing action too.

In the main that was achieved via a venture called IMPEL, run by the UK mechanical rights collecting society MCPS and its owner the Music Publishers Association. IMPEL in turn outsourced the work to PRS which, more recently, outsourced the work to ICE, in which PRS is a shareholder.

IMPEL is currently in the process of re-inventing itself as a standalone entity separate from MCPS and MPA. In the meantime some publishers – like Downtown and now Peermusic – are seeking to ally directly with ICE.

That way their repertoires will be included in the multi-territory licensing deals ICE negotiates with streaming services on behalf of its owners – collecting societies PRS, STIM and GEMA – and its other clients. Which they already were via IMPEL/MCPS/PRS – but now said indie publishers will be directly linked into ICE instead.

This means that music publishers are now directly licensing their Anglo-American repertoires to streaming services via a collecting society-owned hub alongside collecting society-controlled repertoires in partnership with the collecting societies which control the performing rights in the songs in which they control the mechanical rights.

That’s probably better than directly licensing their Anglo-American repertoires to streaming services via a collecting-society led scheme administered by a collecting society that outsources the work to a collecting society-owned hub so that it can be licensed alongside collecting society-controlled repertoires in partnership with the collecting societies which control the performing rights in the songs in which they control the mechanical rights.

And they say music licensing is overly complex!

Here’s Peermusic European President Nigel Elderton with a quote: “As the online business evolves, we continue to evaluate our digital strategy and review our service providers around the world to ensure that our songwriters and composers receive the best service and achieve the most competitive rates possible”.

He goes on: “We chose to partner with ICE directly in Europe as they offer a tailored service with the business intelligence tools necessary to effectively track and police our royalties. ICE has continued to demonstrate that they are at the forefront of the pan-European licensing business having negotiated deals with all of the major digital service providers across Europe and beyond”.

Ben McEwen over at ICE adds: “Peermusic were one of the first publishers to embrace the opportunity of licensing on a multi-territorial basis when they centralised the administration of their rights via PRS in 2008 and we are delighted to now welcome them as a direct customer of ICE in 2018”.



READ MORE ABOUT: |

SIGN UP GO PREMIUM CMU NEWS CMU DAILY CMU DIGEST CMU TRENDS SETLIST