Bruce Springsteen, apparently learning nothing from Taylor Swift, has reportedly sold the master recordings and publishing rights to the entirety of his music catalog to Sony for a whopping $500 million. The company now owns 20 of the iconic artist’s work, including famed works Born To Run, The River, and Born In The U.S.A.
According to BBC, these master recording deals provide financial security to the artists and their estates. The companies who obtain the rights have lots to gain through film and TV licensing, merchandise, cover versions, and performance royalties. Last year, Springsteen’s discography earned around $15 million in revenue.
Other legendary artists who have made similar moves in the last few years include Bob Dylan, Blondie, Stevie Nicks, Shakira, Neil Young, and the estate of the late David Bowie. The price tag for Springsteen’s music is far higher than his counterparts, in fact, it may be the highest amount paid thus far for any musician’s catalog. One year ago, Dylan’s publishing rights went for $300 million to Universal Music Group. Nicks’ and Young’s catalogs sold for much less, at $100 million and $84 million, respectively.
Sony’s most recent acquisition consists of the rights to Paul Simon’s back catalog, for which they paid $250 million. Earlier this year, Rob Stringer, the chief executive of Sony Music, said the company has spent $1.4 billion in acquisitions in the last six months.
Springsteen, who’s just rounded the corner on 72 years of age, has been with Columbia Records (which runs under Sony Music) for the entirety of his five-decade career. Historically, the singer-songwriter has long-controlled the rights to his recordings. Not only that, he also owns the copyrights to his songwriting and acts as his own music publisher.
A public announcement about the transaction has not been made yet, and the specific terms of the deal remain undisclosed.