Robert Ashcroft-run EU licensing ‘hub’ has a name… and it’s ICE

The pan-EU licensing hub being jointly created by PRS, STIM and GEMA will launch in the new year under the ICE brand.

The ICE copyright database – which has operated since 2010 – will power the new venture in addition to giving its name to the entire hub operation.

The new copyright ‘hub’, which gained competition clearance in June, will be run by PRS boss Robert Ashcroft (pictured).

Ben McEwen will transfer from PRS for Music to take up post as Commercial Director of ICE Licensing to lead the licensing and front office rightsholder acquisition and management functions.

Neil Jones will be seconded from PRS for Music as the Services Director for ICE Services and will drive the setup of the operational and professional functions.

Following launch, ICE will support over 250,000 rightsholders and multi-territory digital music companies across Europe.

The existing ICE branding refreshes with a new logo (pictured) and three segmented services:

  • ICE Operations – online matching and processing services, together with ‘authoritative multi-territorial copyright services’;
  • ICE Services – middle-office services including invoicing, legal support and business intelligence analysis for both ICE Licensing customers and those offering bespoke services, such as Solar, Aresa and PEDL;
  • ICE Licensing – consolidated licensing of PRS for Music, GEMA and STIM’s multi-territory online rights and options for other rights holders to join the same core licence.

Robert Ashcroft was appointed as the CEO of the ICE Licensing and ICE Services arm of the hub earlier this summer, in addition to his role as Chief Executive of PRS for Music.

He has responsibility for delivering a hub that encourages the aggregation of music repertoires and offer state-of-the art rights management systems run from a single, authoritative database.

Robert Ashcroft said, “The DNA of this hub has been forged from the same qualities as the ICE copyright database, which was in itself born of collaboration and a strong will to solve big problems in the market place.

“ICE is a truly mass market proposition that will appeal to the widest cross section of rightsholders and digital service providers operating across Europe.

“ICE builds out the brand with a truly flexible suite of options. It is set to deliver security, speed and reliability very cost effectively to all customers.”

ICE promises ‘solutions to rightsholders and a simpler, more streamlined process for digital service providers (DSPs) seeking pan-European music licences’.

Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen, CEO STIM, added: “ICE is a unique offering that combines the expertise of the three owners within copyright administration and multi-territory online licensing and processing.

“ICE has been developed to deliver quality solutions to an increasingly international and borderless market and we are confident that ICE will continue setting new benchmarks for the services rightsholders and music users can expect in this market”.

Dr Harald Heker, CEO GEMA said: “The collaborative effort in launching this new enhanced ICE is one that we are very proud of. ICE brings new economies of scale within reach of all rightsholders and will simplify the licensing market.”

ICE enables single usage report matching of aggregated repertoires across Europe using the best-of-breed technologies of the three collection agencies PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA.Music Business Worldwide

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