Last December, Bob Dylan sold the rights to his entire catalogue, six decades and 600+ songs, for somewhere between US$300-$400 million. It was the largest single catalogue acquisition that Universal Music Group had made, and the largest for a single artist’s body of work. Until now.
This year, The Boss has topped even that impressive feat by netting a reported $500 million to sell his entire body of work to Sony, 20 studio albums, 23 live albums, a number of singles written for other artists, and roughly 300 songs.
Unlike Bob Dylan’s deal, in which he sold his publishing but not the master recordings, Springsteen sold the masters to Sony Music and the coinciding music publishing rights to Sony Music Publishing. So, technically it’s two separate deals, within one umbrella company.
Making Springsteen’s deal even more savvy is that Sony once owned the majority of the master recordings. In the early 1990s, Springsteen negotiated ownership of his earlier master recordings in exchange for re-signing with Sony imprint Columbia Records.
In a big week of acquisitions, Warner Music Group has also purchased hip hop label 300 Entertainment for an estimated $400 million.
The label, started by music industry legend Lyor Cohen, currently has Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, Mary J Blige, and numerous other current superstars on its roster.
300 has been distributed by Warner imprint Atlantic Records since its inception less than a decade ago, and the acquisition “represents the expansion of an already successful partnership,” according to Warner.