The Boss receives a Christmas bonus.
Bruce Springsteen has sold his entire music catalog, including his main recordings and songbook catalog, to Sony Music Entertainment in a successful deal that could be worth $ 500 million.
The record-breaking deal, which includes the classic songs “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born in the USA” and hundreds more dating back nearly 50 years, will send Springsteen’s recorded masters to his home. from longtime Sony Music and its publishing of songs to its corporate brother, Sony Music Publishing.
The boss’s vacation pay, which was first reported on Billboard, is the largest in a series of deals since 2019 that has seen American music classics sold to major music houses.
Artists such as Stevie Nicks, James Brown, Neil Young, and Paul Simon have sold some or all of their work in recent years. In March, Bob Dylan sold his catalog to Universal Music for $ 300 million. Earlier this week, Primary Wave bought the musical assets of James Brown for $ 90 million.
“Our eyes are on the world,” Sony Music president Rob Stringer said at an investor relations meeting in May. “Wherever we think there is an agreement that improves our ecosystem, we will be there.” He added that in the last quarter, Sony Music Publishing owned the rights and earned revenue of over 30% of all songs streamed on Spotify.
In nearly 50 years, Springsteen’s music has been woven into the fabric of American culture. He released his first album, “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ” on Columbia Records, now a Sony Music subsidiary, on January 5, 1973. In the United States, his album catalog has sold over 65 million. copies, according to Billboard. . His most successful album, “Born in the USA” of 1984, alone has sold over 15 million copies.
Representatives for Springsteen declined to comment on the sale.
The unprecedented gold rush for catalog publishing has been propelled by the success of streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. In May, Goldman Sachs predicted that global music revenues would increase by more than 80% to $ 142 billion by 2030, from $ 77 billion in 2019. The bank estimated that more than $ 1.2 billion ‘users would subscribe to a music streaming service by 2030; in 2020, that number was 467 million.
Publishing companies such as Hipgnosis, Primary Wave and Concord and global music powerhouses BMG and Universal Music Publishing have invested more than $ 7 billion in mergers and acquisitions in the first four months of 2021, which is equivalent to almost total spent in 2020. Stringer told investors that in the first half of 2021, Sony spent nearly $ 1.4 billion on transactions, mostly on all of Simon’s work.
“Subscription revenues may not be growing as fast as some would like, but the global music subscriber base isn’t just growing – it’s growing faster than ever,” the analyst noted in Streaming Midia Research’s Mark Mulligan in July.
For Sony, streaming revenue is only part of the equation. Like blue chip stocks, songs are intangible but offer a consistent return on investment. Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” to name just one of his enduring hits, will remain in the collective consciousness long after the death of its songwriter, available for commercial use in movies and TV shows. Vinyl reissues, TikTok clips, YouTube plays – each will combine to offset Sony’s $ 500 million investment.