Bruce Springsteen has sold the rights to his life’s work to Sony for a reported $US500 million ($700 million).
The deal includes all of Springsteen’s recorded music and publishing catalogue, including classics such as Born To Run, The River and Born In The USA, according to multiple US reports.
It is reported by Billboard magazine to be a record for a single-artist music catalogue, topping Bob Dylan’s sale of his publishing to Universal for nearly $US400 million.
Neither Springsteen, 72, nor Sony Music have yet publicly confirmed the sale, but multiple industry sources have reported it.
Springsteen, who is one of the music world’s biggest names, has won 20 Grammy awards. He has sold an estimated 65.5 million album sales in the US alone – his music earned him about $US15 million in 2020, with another $US7.5 million from his publishing catalogue.
The New Jersey-born star has been with Sony subsidiary Columbia Records since 1972. He apparently acquired the rights to his music as part of a contract renegotiation in the 1990s.
Springsteen is still writing, recording and performing, recently releasing two albums – 2019’s Western Stars and by 2020’s Letter to You. He also had an intermittent one-man show, Springsteen on Broadway, from 2017 to this year..
The deal for his music rights follows similar sales by Bob Dylan, Blondie and David Bowie.
BBC reports that Warner Music bought the worldwide rights to Bowie’s music in September, and Dylan sold his catalogue of more than 600 songs in December last year to Universal Music Group for a widely reported as $US300 million.
Such sales provide artists and their estates with enormous financial security, while opening the door to new revenue streams for the rights-holder through film and TV licensing, merchandise, cover versions and performance royalties.
Sony Music chief executive Rob Stringer told an investor meeting earlier this year that the company had spent $US1.4 billion in acquisitions in the previous six months. That included a multimillion-dollar deal to buy Paul Simon’s back catalogue.