Bob Dylan sold his entire catalog of recordings to Sony
Sony did not disclose financial terms of the deal. By the end of 2020, the iconic artist, 80, had already sold his songwriting rights – separate from the recording rights, which govern reproduction and distribution – to Universal, in a deal estimated to be worth over of $300 million.
According to industry reports, including from Billboard and Variety, Dylan’s latest deal was worth more than $200 million.
Sony said it closed the recording rights deal in July 2021, a further deepening of Dylan’s six-decade relationship with the company.
Dylan was signed to Sony’s Columbia Records in 1961 and recorded his first album the same year.
Hailing Dylan’s “unparalleled genius”, Rob Stringer, Chairman of Sony Music Group, said: “Columbia Records has had a special relationship with Bob Dylan since the beginning of his career and we are extremely proud and excited to continue to grow and to develop our 60 one-year partnerships.”
Dylan also praised the deal in a statement, “Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years and many records. I’m glad all of my recordings can stay where they belong.”
Dylan’s deal with Sony is separate from his successful publishing sale to Universal.
Recording rights holders can dictate future re-releases, while publishing rights holders receive a discount in a number of scenarios, including radio playback and streaming, album sales, and usage. in advertising and movies.
Dylan’s publishing deal with Universal was one of the highest-profile sales to come ahead of a flurry of music catalog deals over the past year as financial markets grow increasingly enticed by music portfolios as an asset class.
The companies have acquired a number of major catalogs, including from David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Motley Crue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Shakira.
Springsteen sold his publishing and recorded music rights to Sony for a staggering $500 million.
Earlier this month, Bowie’s estate sold the late singer’s publishing rights to Warner Chappell Music.