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IMRO confirms direct partnership with ICE

By | Published on Wednesday 12 June 2019


Irish collecting society IMRO has announced a new alliance with ICE, the copyright hub owned by PRS, GEMA and STIM. Under the new deal IMRO will utilise ICE’s digital licensing services across Europe and beyond. Which means licensing its members rights alongside the repertoires of ICE’s owners – and independent music publishers like Concord, Downtown and Peermusic – via the hub’s Core licensing set-up.

IMRO previously collaborated with UK society PRS on digital licensing and therefore was part of the ICE licence via that alliance. But by linking directly into ICE itself – which in turn can license IMRO rights to streaming services in multiple territories – there will be fewer links in the often overly complicated digital royalty chains.

And if you take a quick glance of the ‘Song Royalties Guide’ produced by CMU Insights and published by the Music Managers Forum last month, you’ll see how simpler, shorter royalty chains should be everyone’s objective.

“Partnering with ICE directly ensures that IMRO stays at the forefront of the growing digital marketplace at a crucial time”, IMRO Commercial Director For Media Licensing, Seán Donegan, said earlier today. “This partnership will expedite the payment of digital royalties to IMRO members, at the most competitive rates possible, thus shortening and simplifying the digital royalty chain”.

He added: “The use of ICE’s cutting-edge business intelligence tools will enhance IMRO’s online monitoring, providing additional insight into how often, on what platforms, and in which countries, consumers are enjoying an ever popular and growing IMRO repertoire”.

Speaking for the ICE side, the hub’s VP Commercial Ben McEwen said: “We are very pleased to welcome IMRO as a direct customer for ICE’s core licence. It is validation for the expertise and focus we have put into our licensing services, which are enabling our rightsholders to access online income from a broader range of multi-territorial services and for a broader range of territories than ever before”.

Although IMRO will now allow ICE to include many of its members’ rights in its Core licence, it will also continue to collaborate with the big publishers where they have chosen to do direct deals for their Anglo-American catalogues in the streaming space.

Those direct deals usually bundle together the mechanical rights that are controlled by the publishers themselves with the accompanying performing rights, which are usually controlled by societies like PRS and IMRO. The new ICE partnership won’t affect those publisher tie-ups, though some of those publishers also work with ICE on digital licensing.