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ICE announces Facebook deal

By | Published on Wednesday 21 February 2018


The Facebook licences continue to slot into place. This morning ICE – the licensing hub that brings together various European song rights collecting societies – announced its first deal with the social network.

Facebook has been busy negotiating music licences for sometime as its shift into video made the need for deals with the music industry more pressing.

Although the first big deal was with Universal Music, covering the mega-major’s record labels as well as some of its publishing catalogues, most of the subsequent deals have focused on song rights rather than recording rights.

This isn’t to say that Facebook doesn’t want the labels on board – it does – but the social media giant does seem to be prioritising the publishers and collecting societies. Which is the opposite to most digital music services, which usually do the label deals first.

However, given that Facebook mainly needs licences for music contained in user-uploaded videos, it isn’t relying on its music industry partners to pump music directly into its servers. It’s that requirement that makes label deals the top priority for more conventional music streaming services.

Also, while the labels want to share in all that Facebook advertising money, they also recognise the promotional value of having their music popping up in people’s news feeds. So it’s more the publishers who have been employing Facebook’s Rights Manager technology to block unlicensed music, causing content to be taken down.

Confirming that it had agreed a deal with ICE, the copyright hub that was co-founded by UK collecting society PRS, Facebook’s Anjali Southward said: “We are delighted to continue deepening our relationship with music by partnering with ICE in a first-of-its-kind licensing deal. Facebook’s journey with music is just beginning and we look forward to working with ICE and songwriters to build a community together around music”.

Meanwhile the Commercial Director of ICE Services, Ben McEwen, added: “We are excited to work with Facebook to ensure we are delivering value back to creators for the use of their works on Facebook platforms. The future of music depends on our industries working together to enable the development of new models for music consumption in the digital age, to ensure a healthy future for songwriters and composers”.