ICE seals pan-European Facebook licensing deal

ICE seals pan-European Facebook licensing deal

Pan-European digital licensing body ICE have confirmed their long-awaited multi-territory licensing deal with social media giant Facebook.

The deal – which Music Week revealed was imminent last month in an interview with ICE CEO Robert Ashcroft  – covers Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger and provides online music licensing for over 290,000 rightsholders, across 160 territories.

It’s the latest deal as Facebook gears up to launch its music strategy, after reaching agreements with the likes of Universal Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Kobalt and others. Facebook 2.1 billion users will now be able to add music from a catalogue containing millions of works to videos they create and share with their audiences. It also means the brakes can finally come off the UK's biz increasing use of Facebook as a promotional platform.

“We are delighted to continue deepening our relationship with music by partnering with ICE in a first-of-its-kind licensing deal. 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,” said Anjali Southward, head of international music publishing business development at Facebook.

ICE – a JV between the UK’s PRS For Music, Germany’s GEMA and Sweden’s STIM – says it will be working with Facebook during the ongoing development of its rights reporting systems to ensure accurate royalties data. ICE currently has over 40 online music licences in place with some of the world’s largest music streaming platforms and says it has distributed over €300m to rights-holders since 2016.

“We are excited to work with Facebook to ensure we are delivering value back to creators for the use of their works on Facebook platforms. 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,”said Ben McEwen, commercial director at ICE Services.

Speaking to Music Week last month, Ashcroft said of Facebook: “We need to see how they use music on the platform. You want to value the music for the way it’s used and not just apply one cookie-cutter approach. It’s toe in the water first.”

Meanwhile, Sony/ATV chairman/CEO Martin Bandier recently told Music Week: “It’s pretty terrific that [Facebook] recognised they needed to make a deal. That’s one I’m happy with, because it came out of nowhere. You’re talking about starting from zero so, if we got a dollar, it’s a dollar more than you ever got before. But believe me we got more than a dollar! You can rely on that!”

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