Business News Deals Digital Labels & Publishers

Triller signs deal with ICE

By | Published on Friday 2 October 2020


Ah, Triller, Triller, Triller, everyone’s talking about Triller. Well, everyone’s talking about TikTok still. But then the TikTok chatter sometimes morphs into Triller chatter. And then everyone’s talking about Triller.

What about Instagram Reels? Why aren’t you all excited about Instagram Reels? Or YouTube Shorts. Shouldn’t you be more excited about YouTube’s blatant TikTok rip-off? I suppose you need to be in India to get involved with that particular beta service from Google.

If only more countries would be bold (petty?) enough to ban the TikToks, we too could be getting more excited about YouTube Shorts. Or Instagram Reels. Or Triller.

Oh no, sorry, I forgot, we’re already excited about Triller, aren’t we? Hence, I gathered you all here today to let you know that the video-sharing app has just announced a multi-territory licensing deal with song rights copyright hub ICE.

The deal covers the repertoires of German and Swedish collecting societies GEMA and STIM, parts of the repertoires of British and Irish societies PRS and IMRO, and the Anglo-American catalogues of music publishers Downtown, Songtrust, Concord and Peermusic, all of which participate in what’s known as the ICE Core licence.

“We found this to be a really smooth process, reflecting both ICE’s experience in licensing a wide range of digital services and our own approach in seeking fair deals with rightsholders”, says Triller boss Mike Lu on the new deal. “Together the shared knowledge proved invaluable in both addressing a range of challenges, agreeing the present and mapping out how this could develop in the future. We look forward to offering our users an unparallel experience on the Triller app”.

Meanwhile, ICE’s VP Commercial Ben McEwen adds: “This deal is a good example of forward thinking. In addition to agreeing commercial terms, we’ve been able to explore collaboration in areas of dataflows and reporting. Working together, this reflects a digital service pioneering new ways of utilising music, and doing so on a basis that recognises the vital contribution songwriters make to their service. Triller has displayed a positive approach to our dealings to date, and there‚Äôs a strong foundation for future development”.

Triller and ICE both stressing how easy and pleasurable it has been working with the other on making this deal happen may or may not be a sly reference to the fact that talks between TikTok and ICE have not gone so smoothly.

With user-generated content and video-sharing apps likely to play a key role in the next phase of digital music growth, the industry at large is keen to get all the relevant deals in place with both the legacy and the newer players in this space.

Digital music start-ups still tend to prioritise sorting out recording rights over songs rights, much to the frustration of music publishers and songwriters. Though that’s partly because sorting out song rights is such a monumental mindfuck.

Though certain societies and publishers have been trying to make the process somewhat easier to navigate, not least the societies and publishers involved in ICE. Hence why both sides here are keen to stress the “smooth process” that led to this deal. Well, that and it’s always fun to get a little sneaky TikTok dig into the proceedings. Which maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.

But why are you talking about TikTok? What’s TikTok? It’s all about Triller. Or Instagram Reels. Or YouTube Shorts. Or, more likely, that video app that’s so fucking cool, none of us have even heard of it yet. There’s a challenge for the music industry: whose clever enough to license the cool new app no one’s heard about yet?