GEMA takes stake in PRS and STIM’s ICE project

German songwriter and publisher collection society GEMA has become a shareholder in International Copyright Enterprise AB (ICE – the company founded by PRS for Music (UK) and STIM (Sweden) in 2007.

The trio of PROs say that the new deal will ‘simplify both national and pan-European music rights licensing and processing’.

ICE will extend its current copyright repertoire management services to include the processing of transactional licences to Digital Music Services, both for its shareholder societies and for other society customers. In due course ICE will also promises to ‘create a state of the art audio visual database for film and television music processing’.

PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA will together build a licensing hub that will combine the national repertoires of all three organisations as well as providing licensing services to other holders of multi-territorial European online rights, both publishers and societies. The combined repertoire available to license through the new hub will be amongst the largest of its kind in Europe, providing access to millions of works for download, subscription and streaming services.

Slated for delivery in 2014, the proposed joint venture will use the strong copyright and online processing services from ICE, who in turn will work in tandem with the future Global Repertoire Database (GRD) and deliver benefits that include:

  • Faster and more accurate invoicing and royalty payments, aiding both creators and music users
  • Significantly fewer licensing negotiations for digital music services operating and launching across Europe
  • A reduction in processing costs and an increase in accuracy as duplicate systems and processes are combined
  • The ability to include other societies repertoires on an equal basis expanding licensing capability and bringing cultural diversity to European digital music services

Dr Harald Heker, Chairman of the Board of GEMA (pictured), said: “By entering into this joint venture we are ensuring that GEMA will continue to play a leading role among European collecting societies in the future. Pooling the strengths of PRS for Music, STIM and ICE has a synergy effect and makes us ideally equipped to respond to dynamic market developments and subsequent changes in music consumption habits.

“Our authors will now benefit from simplified and more efficient rights management, as well as online processing in a central European database. This is another important step towards increasing the attractiveness of GEMA’s repertoire in the future.”

PRS for Music Chief Executive Robert Ashcroft said: “This partnership will enable dramatic improvements in licensing and rights management across Europe by reducing complexity and increasing efficiency. It will accelerate the growth and development of the digital music market, while ensuring that songwriters, composers and music publishers are paid the right amount of money, faster, more accurately and at lower cost.

“This is good news for everyone involved, from our members to the digital music service providers.”

Kenth Muldin Chief Executive of STIM commented: “I am confident that our partnership will create a modern and more cost-efficient management of music rights in Europe. This initiative is simply a response to market demand – music needs to be distributed anywhere, anytime and on any device, to the benefit of both consumers and creators. Our joint aim is to make music licensing and royalty payments more efficiently– in short to encourage market entry for legal services and allow music lovers to enjoy music.”

Carsten Drachmann Chief Executive of ICE commented: “The is a great step forward for the “one stop shop” of online licensing in Europe, and ICE is proud to deliver the back office services, technology and solutions that enables this joint venture and helps reduce complexity and cost, and secures a fast and accurate return to rights holders.”Music Business Worldwide

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