Sony Music Entertainment label announced this monday the complete acquisition of Bob Dylan’s back catalog of recordings, as well as the rights to future releases. The deal closed in July 2021 but has been kept under wraps until now. The financial agreement has not been disclosed.
This deal does not include the publishing rights to his songs which, in December 2020, the artist withdrew from Sony Music Publishing (a Sony-owned publishing management company) and sold to competing music publisher Universal for around 400 million dollars. After that agreement, Dylan sold the recordings of his songs, that is, the masters in which his albums were recorded, which will remain in Sony.
The Nobel Prize winner has published all the albums of his career, which began with his self-titled album in 1962, on Columbia Records, a record label acquired by Sony in 1988. Columbia has published 39 studio albums by the American singer-songwriter. According to the specialized media Billboad, Dylan had negotiated ownership of the masters in his contract with Columbia. According to Billboard’s estimate, its catalog generates 16 million dollars annually worldwide.
The future catalog of the artist includes, in addition to a new work, after a well received Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020), reissues of his most acclaimed albums, as well as the continuation of the Bootleg Series of unreleased and rarity box sets. “I am glad that all my recordings can stay where they belong,” are the words that the statement attributes to Bob Dylan regarding this agreement. Sony is one of the three major majors that share three quarters of the world record market, along with Universal (owned by Vivendi) and Warner.