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Austrian Collection Society AKM Joins ICE Core for Online Licensing

The deal includes Austro Mechana, AKM's mechanical rights subsidiary.

BERLIN — Austrian collecting society AKM, which manages and licenses rights for songwriters and publishers, has joined ICE Core for online licensing. That means ICE, the online licensing hub created by collecting societies in Germany (GEMA), the U.K. (PRS for Music) and Sweden (STIM), will now represent and collect for AKM compositions for online services in much of the world, excluding the U.S. and some Asian markets. The deal includes AKM mechanical rights subsidiary, Austro Mechana.

“The ICE Core reflects the best licensing solution for online music services, with the best value, for our members,” said AKM CEO Gernot Graninger in a statement. “In these times more than ever, societies need to find the right services at the right value.”

ICE was created in response to a change in European Union regulation that allows the societies that take in money for public performing rights in their local territories to compete in the online world. Inevitably, the larger societies, including France’s SACEM and the partnership behind ICE have emerged to dominate that business, since they can make the investments needed to manage the vast amounts of data generated by streaming services. Gradually, this model is spreading to other territories. 

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AKM had been managing its rights under a partnership with GEMA.  

ICE provides several services, including licensing and online processing, and it operates a copyright database. But the core of its operation is licensing – which is why it goes by the name ICE Core. In addition to its founding partner societies, ICE also represents IMRO, the Irish collecting society; SABAM, the Belgian society, and BMI. Concord Music Publishing, Songtrust and peermusic, all based in the U.S., are also direct members. 

In November, ICE Core distributed €102 million, breaking its own record for monthly distribution.  

“We’re very happy to welcome AKM into the Core,” said ICE chief commercial officer Ben McEwen in a statement. “The collaboration to make this happen reflects all parties working together in the interests of rightsholders, the very DNA of everyone who is part of the ICE hub.”