Sony Music Entertainment announced Monday that Bob Dylan had sold his whole back catalog of recorded melody. Dylan also sold the rights to his future releases.
The financial specifics of the agreement were not disclosed by Sony. The renowned singer, 80, had previously sold his composition rights – distinct from recording rights, which regulate reproduction and distribution – to Universal in a transaction valued at more than $300 million in late 2020.
Bob Dylan’s Deal Is Worth Nearly $200M
According to industry rumors such as Billboard and Variety, the current Dylan contract was for up to $200 million.
Sony stated that the recording rights purchase will be completed in July 2021, strengthening Dylan’s six-decade tie with the corporation.
Dylan signed with Sony’s Columbia Records in 1961 and released his debut album the following year. Bob Dylan’s deal with Sony is separate from his blockbuster publishing sale to Universal.
Recording rightsholders can dictate future reissues, whereas publishing rights owners earn a share in a variety of circumstances, including radio play and streaming, album sales, and use in advertising and movies.
Bob Dylan’s publishing contract with Universal was one of the most high-profile deals that have followed a wave of music catalog trades in the last year or two. Financial markets have become increasingly attracted to music portfolios as an asset class.
Several important collections from David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Motley Crue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Shakira have been bought by companies.
Springsteen’s recorded and publishing music rights were sold to Sony for a whopping $500 million. Bowie’s estate sold the late singer’s publishing rights to WC Music earlier in January.