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Bruce Springsteen reportedly sells music rights to Sony for $500 million

By | Published on Thursday 16 December 2021

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen has sold his music rights to Sony Music for at least $500 million, according to reports.

Billboard reported last month that Springsteen was in talks to sell his recordings catalogue to Sony, and that he was also shopping his publishing catalogue around too. Sony seemingly put in a high bid in order to secure both, taking full control of his more than 300 songs and 20 studio albums.

For Sony, this is a return of many of those master rights. Springsteen has worked with the major’s Columbia label for his entire career, but took control of the rights in his recordings as part of a contract renegotiation during the CD boom. He has also long directly controlled his own publishing, most recently seeing it administered via Universal.

The deal – reported by both Billboard and the New York Times – would be the biggest of its type so far seen by the music industry, despite there being a flurry of mega-bucks catalogue purchases involving heritage artists in recent years. It would surpass Bob Dylan’s $300 million deal a year ago considerably – although that was only for Dylan’s publishing catalogue.

With the boom of streaming and other digital services set to continue for some time yet – delivering the music rights sector ever greater revenues for the foreseeable future – there has been something of a goldrush to buy up rights in recent years, of course, led by both traditional music rights companies and the new music IP investment funds.

Various big name artists have now agreed to take a one-off lump sum in exchange for some or all of their rights, including – in addition to Dylan – Neil Young, Tina Turner, Paul Simon, various members of Fleetwood Mac, and Shakira.