Bob Dylan has sold his master recordings to Sony Music Entertainment in what is reported to be a multimillion-dollar deal – the latest in a series by big-name artists.
Sony confirmed on Monday that it has acquired Dylan‘s back catalogue of recorded music, including performances of hit songs including Blowin’ In The Wind and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, as well as the rights to future releases.
Variety has cited sources who valued the deal at between $150m and $200m (about £112m to £149m), while Billboard also reports that the catalogue is worth about $200m.
It comes after Dylan, 80, sold his songwriting catalogue to Universal Music Group in December 2020 for a reported $300m (£223m).
Master recordings refer to performances that can be played back or reproduced, while songwriting rights refer to the recording’s music and lyrics, with money made when the songs are used by other individuals or groups such as radio stations, restaurants and film or TV producers, according to music publishing administrator Song Trust.
The singer-songwriter is among a group of typically older artists, including Neil Young, Stevie Nicks and Paul Simon, who have sold their rights in recent years. Bruce Springsteen also reportedly joined the list in December 2021.
With the rise of streaming, the way listeners consume music and the way artists make money from it has changed. Investors are able to see the value of evergreen hits, and are making offers that are hard for stars to refuse.
Dylan’s latest deal covers his work from 1962. Neither Sony nor Dylan’s representative have commented on the terms of the acquisition.
Sony and Dylan say they will collaborate on future catalogue reissues in the artist’s Bootleg Series, which began in 1991 and includes 14 releases through 2021’s lauded Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol 16 (1980-1985).