Concord signs new core ICE contract and advertises “significantly increasing license fees”

Concord and ICE have entered into an expanded agreement. Photo credit: Concord

After benefiting from “significantly increasing royalties” since becoming an ICE Core Direct Member in 2018, Concord has officially signed a new multi-year deal with the tech company.

London-headquartered ICE and the Nashville-based publisher announced their renewed collaboration in a brief communication emailed to DMN this morning. Concord now owns or manages more than 800,000 copyrights and has seen an “average increase” in royalties over the past three years of over 34 percent year over year, according to executives.

In the meantime, ICE – a joint initiative of the London PRS, the Stockholm STIM and the Berlin GEMA – is said to represent more than 330,000 rights holders and maintain a database with around 49 million works. In light of the statistics, the parties also took the opportunity to highlight ICE’s “significantly expanded” presence – specifically referring to the company’s presence in sub-Saharan Africa and the rapidly developing MENA region.

(The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry declared MENA the fastest growing music market in 2022 and introduced an “Official MENA Chart”. Additionally, an Africa-focused partnership agreement between PRS for Music and Rob Wells’ Orfium was finalized in April 2023 . )

In a statement, Jim Selby, Concord’s Chief Publishing Officer, highlighted the “tremendous accomplishment” his company has achieved so far as part of ICE Core.

“It’s a truly customer-centric partnership that we enjoy with everyone at ICE,” continued former AdShare President Selby in part, “and it extends well beyond the closing of that first deal.” By underpinning a deep understanding of the market with systems, that efficiently and effectively deliver actual royalties, in turn, we can offer our authors more.”

And in his own remarks, ICE Chief Commercial Officer Ben McEwen – whose company welcomed Austrian collecting society AKM and its subsidiary Austro Mechana to ICE Core in December – reiterated his platform’s commitment to continuing to provide benefits to rightsholder members.

“The ICE Core brings together and supports a wide variety of rightsholder customers to provide shared benefits, including leading independent publishers such as Concord,” said former PRS for Music executive McEwen, whose current employer is said to have paid rightsholders around €3 billion since 2016. “We look forward to continuing to deliver royalties and enabling our clients to deliver new services to the songwriters and composers we all serve.”

Back in December, Concord completed a $1.8 billion bond sale and (along with BMG and Universal Music) sued ISP Altice USA in a major breach of contract lawsuit. ICE recently announced a licensing agreement with Metaverse startup STYNGR, which bills itself as the “gaming arm of the music industry.”