Bruce Springsteen is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries and now “The Boss” is half a billion dollars richer after selling his extensive music catalogue to Sony Music. The sale marks the largest known single-catalogue acquisition to date.
The musician has sold his masters to Sony Music and his publishing to Sony Music Publishing in a combined deal, according to Billboard sources.
In a statement, the musician said, “I am one artist who can truly say that when I signed with Columbia Records in 1972, I came to the right place. During the last 50 years, the men and women of Sony Music have treated me with the greatest respect as an artist and as a person. I’m thrilled that my legacy will continue to be cared for by the Company and people I know and trust.”
According to Billboard, the money was well spent considering Springsteen’s catalogue earns about USD $15 million per year, spanning 20 studio albums and multiple boxed sets and live recordings.
Springsteen’s deal has edged out the huge 2020 agreement that saw Universal Music Publishing pay USD $400 million for Bob Dylan’s song catalogue.
Likewise, Warner Music secured the deal to buy the worldwide rights to David Bowie’s music in September 2021 with his work from 1968 through 2016 acquired by the label. The Bowie publishing deal was originally said to be in the $200 million range, but reports now say the figure being discussed is considerably higher and increasing by the day.
The benefit of an artist selling their music catalogue is layered — deals such as these provide immediate financial security to the artists and their estates. Meanwhile, the rights-holders have the opportunity to profit by building new revenue streams for the music by way of film and TV licensing, merchandise, cover versions and performance royalties.
Over the course of his career, Springsteen has released 20 studio albums, 73 singles, eight extended plays and 23 live albums. He was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1999 and has won 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award, the latter of which he won for Springsteen on Broadway.