Bob Dylan sells complete recording catalogue rights to Sony Music

The latest in a string of massive catalogue sales.

Bob Dylan

Image: Bettman / Getty

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In his second major rights deal, Bob Dylan has sold the complete rights to his recording catalogue to Sony Music today, following the previous sale of his publishing rights to Universal Music Group.

The sale is the latest enormous deal struck by a classic artist, as countless companies acquire the rights to the songs and recordings of artists like ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen and David Crosby.

The deal Dylan has struck with Sony is separate from his deal with Universal, made in late 2020 and valued at over $300 million. That deal concerned publishing rights – that is, the song’s composition. These rights pertain more to live performance and cover royalties. Dylan has sold the rights to his recorded catalogue to Sony, which pertain more to streaming and sales royalties.

The announcement made by Sony today did not specify any financial details. However, given Dylan is amongst the most celebrated songwriters of all time, estimates are placing the figure Sony paid for the catalogue in the hundreds of millions.

Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rob Stringer said in a statement that “Columbia Records [owned by Sony Music Entertainment] has had a special relationship with Bob Dylan from the beginning of his career and we are tremendously proud and excited to be continuing to grow and evolve our ongoing 60-year partnership.

“Bob is one of music’s greatest icons and an artist of unrivaled genius. The essential impact he and his recordings continue to have on popular culture is second to none and we’re thrilled he will now be a permanent member of the Sony Music family. We are excited to work with Bob and his team to find new ways to make his music available to his many fans today and to future generations.”

Dylan himself added: “Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years and a whole lot of records. I’m glad that all my recordings can stay where they belong.”

The deal follows Sony Music Entertainment’s acquisition of both Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen’s publishing catalogue. the

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