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Facebook signs music licensing deal with European rights company ICE

Facebook signs music licensing deal with European rights company ICE


Covering 290,000 rights-holders across 160 territories

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook has signed a deal with London-based International Copyright Enterprise Operations (ICE) to provide royalty payouts on music the company represents, as reported by TechCrunch. ICE is a European online rights hub with a catalog of about 31 million works, representing STIM in Sweden, PRS in the UK (and other territories), GEMA in Germany, and more.

This is the first time Facebook has signed a multi-territorial license with an online hub. The deal will cover licensing and royalties whenever music represented by ICE is used on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger. The deal excludes WhatsApp, as that service is purely a private messaging tool that doesn’t require music licenses.

Facebook has struck other licensing deals in recent months. In January, it signed an agreement with Sony Music covering the use of music on Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus. Facebook and Universal Music Group also signed a licensing agreement back in December. It has also struck deals with Global Music Rights (GMR), SESAC’s HFA/Rumblefish, and Kobalt Music Publishing.

ICE’s deal with Facebook covers 290,000 rights-holders across 160 territories, and as part of the deal, ICE will be working with Facebook to help develop its rights reporting system for more accurate royalties data. ICE currently has over 40 online music licenses in place with various streaming platforms and has distributed over 300 million euros to rights-holders since 2016. Specifics of ICE’s payout structure with Facebook have not been disclosed.