“Boss” Springsteen Sells Music Rights to Sony for Half a Billion Dollars

The “Boss” Bruce Springsteen has sold his musical rights to Sony for half a billion dollars, according to the press, the latest transaction to date among planetary rockstars taken since 2020 from a frenzy of sales of their catalogs.

According to unconfirmed information from the trade magazine Billboard and you New York Times, the sale for some $ 500 million, possibly a record amount, includes the singer’s catalog of recorded music and his songwriter work. Including the famous single “Born in the USA”, sold nearly 30 million copies.

Asked by the New York Times, Springsteen’s entourage declined to comment and Sony Music did not respond to AFP’s requests.

150 million records

The 72-year-old ‘Boss’, immensely popular in the United States and abroad, has sold over 150 million records in half a century and has remained loyal to the Columbia Records label, part of the Japanese multinational Sony. .

Bruce Springsteen is the latest music star to sell all or part of its catalog in this way, after Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young.

Owning the rights to catalogs – which make it possible to earn royalties for each use of a song, whether it is a download, a passage in a film or an advertisement – can be very profitable. on the long term.

Consequence of the Covid

Experts note that since 2020, a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, major maneuvers have been in full swing for the acquisition of musical rights, in particular with the streaming revolution: the financial markets showing themselves to be fond of these “portfolios” of artists deemed timeless and generating stable revenue streams.

Recent transactions have reached astronomical amounts, although never officially confirmed.

In October, 81-year-old Tina Turner sold her musical rights to German group BMG for a sum that remained confidential.

The 2016 Nobel Prize winner for literature, Bob Dylan, 80, sold his entire catalog to Universal Music last December for an estimated windfall of $ 300 million. Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks reportedly got $ 100 million for his majority share of the group’s catalog.

The American-Canadian singer Neil Young and two members of the group Blondie also signed agreements for unspecified amounts, as Shakira.


According to industry experts, the increase in catalog prices began before 2020, but the amounts really skyrocketed with the pandemic when artists found themselves deprived of tours and concerts.

Among the companies at the forefront of these catalog sales: the British investment company Hipgnosis Songs Fund, listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2018, or Primary Wave, which signed the agreement with Stevie Nicks, but also funds investments like Tempo Investments, Round Hill and Reservoir.

Hipgnosis, led by Merck Mercuriadis, ex-manager of Elton John or the hard rock band Iron Maiden, underlined in its 2020 annual report that catalog revenues were decorrelated from the turmoil in the financial markets: people “always consume music And, thanks to streaming, “almost always pay for,” the company wrote in January.

Sometimes accused on Twitter accounts of being “sold” to the music industry, artists like Bruce Springsteen are on the contrary defended by music specialists.

Already extremely rich, Springsteen “is not a sold”, contests the consultant and blogger Alan Cross in the online review “A Journal of Musical Things”. For Mr. Cross, “Bruce just gets an advance on his income, money that he would have obtained after his death” and that he will be able to invest “in whatever he wants for. […] him, his family and his heirs ”.

“By selling (his catalog) to Sony, he knows that they will keep his music alive for decades to come,” he concludes.

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