Sony Music has acquired Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of recorded music, including all of his previous albums and “the rights to many future releases,” the company announced on Monday. .
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to calculations by Billboard, the music trade publication, the copyright to Dylan’s records could be worth around $200 million, based on an estimated $16 million in worldwide annual sales.
When Dylan sold his songwriting rights — separate from the recordings — with Universal Music by the end of 2020, that deal is estimated to be worth more than $300 million.
In Dylan’s case, his songwriting material is valuable because thousands of covers of his songs have been made over the years – from Peter, Paul & Mary in the 1960s to Adele, who recorded Dylan’s song “Make You Feel My Love” on her first album.
Dylan’s history with Columbia Records, owned by Sony, goes back over 60 years. He was signed to the label in 1961, by renowned talent scout John Hammond, and Columbia released Dylan’s first album of the same name the following year, which included traditional folk songs and a some of Dylan’s original hits like “Talkin’ New York” and “Song to Woody,” a tribute to his hero Woody Guthrie.
“Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have done me no good for many, many years and many records,” Dylan said in a statement. Stringer is the chief executive officer of Sony Music and a former director of Columbia.
“I’m glad all my records can stay where they belong,” added Dylan.
Dylan, 80, sold the rights to his key recordings, which he had long controlled, to Sony. According to Sony’s announcement, the transaction was closed in July, making it one of the rare big money deals in the music industry to avoid leaks within 6 months.
The deal is part of a wave of artist portfolio purchases, including Sony buys Bruce Springsteen record for $550 million and composition portfolio, as well as other major deals for the work of Paul Simon, Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Neil Young, Shakira and others.
Copyrights for recordings and compositions – the lyrics and melodies within the recordings of any song – are separate and both have been coveted by investors in recent years because of their development. Online has enhanced the fortunes of the music industry.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/24/arts/music/bob-dylan-sony-recordings.html Sony Music buys Bob Dylan’s recorded music