Pan-European Licensing Hub ICE Strikes Deal With Google Play

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ICE, the one-stop pan-European online rights hub, has signed its first license deal in the digital market place, partnering with Google Play Music.

ICE, or International Copyright Enterprise as it's also known, was formed by three of Europe's biggest collection societies - PRS for Music (United Kingdom), STIM (Sweden) and GEMA (Germany) - and officially launched earlier this year, having received clearance from the European Commission in June 2015.

Designed to enable faster, more cost efficient and simplified rights negotiations for digital music services operating in Europe, the licensing and royalty processing service collectively represents over 250,000 songwriters.

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The organization bills itself as the world’s first integrated licensing and processing hub and claims to have the most comprehensive copyright database in Europe. It says it will process online music usage through a single matching engine that will eliminate "unnecessary processing" and significantly reduce disputed claims.

The deal struck with Google Play Music – which has a catalog of 35 million songs - is ICE’s first license deal and grants the streaming service and download store access to the repertoire of PRS for Music (including the rights of MCPS and IMPEL), STIM and GEMA in one single license.

"We are proud to have been able to work together with Google Play Music to launch the first ICE Services online music license," said ICE ServicesCEO Robert Ashcroft announcing the deal.

"ICE will make a major contribution to the Digital Single Market by simplifying pan-European licensing for digital music service providers and maximising value for rights holders. We are delighted to mark the beginning of a revolution in the online market," continued Ashcroft, who also holds the post of PRS for Music chief executive.

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"We are honoured to have been selected as the pilot digital service and are pleased to be the first licensee to sign an agreement with ICE," added Victoria Campoamor, head of international music publishing partner operations, YouTube and Google Play Music.

Campoamor continued: "We look forward to building a constructive relationship with ICE and to the realization of operational efficiencies from the new platform and its benefits to composers and publishers."