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Music licensing firm ICE has announced its latest happy customer: Concord Music Publishing.

The latter has renewed the partnership that has seen it be a direct member of the ICE Core licence since 2018. According to IC, since 2020 Concord’s annual royalties have grown by an average of more than 34% each year.

That got Music Ally interested: what’s driving this growth, both for Concord and other customers of ICE? So we asked.

According to chief commercial officer Ben McEwen, key factors have been geographic expansion as well as ICE licensing a broader range of digital music services.

He also cited “end-to-end processing enhancements such as two-stage invoicing for all major DSPs, which ensures we maximise the claims we make and the associated royalty flows.”

“This operational side is important: it’s a real value-add from the hub model,” he added, referring to ICE’s structure.

Jim Selby, chief publishing officer at Concord, also said that the increase in Concord’s music catalogue has been an important factor, with deals such as its August 2022 acquisition of Native Tongue Publishing, which expanded its business in Australasia.

McEwan also said that ICE is seeing encouraging growth from new regions for its business, including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Geographically, we’re seeing faster growth in a number of these evolving / emerging markets, as compared to the bigger more mature markets,” he said.

“Although the absolute numbers in some new territories are small, when combined they make an important contribution to the overall growth we’re seeing from the market.”

This is a growing part of the story behind ICE’s growth, which has seen the hub represent more than 330,000 rightsholders and pay out more than €3bn since 2016.

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