Music & Musicians

Bob Dylan Sells Recorded Music Catalog to Sony Music Entertainment

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  • Sony Music Entertainment has acquired the entire recorded music catalog of Bob Dylan.
  • Dylan, 80, is one of many older musicians who have sold off rights to their catalogs in recent years, likely as part of estate planning.
  • The famed musician sold his songwriting rights in 2020 to Universal Music.

Sony Music Entertainment has acquired the entire recorded music catalog of Bob Dylan, the company announced Monday.

"Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years and a whole lot of records," Dylan said in a statement. "I'm glad that all my recordings can stay where they belong."

The deal includes all of the famed singer's previous albums dating back to 1962 as well as the rights to multiple future releases. The deal closed in July 2021 and is estimated to be worth between $150 million and $200 million, according to Variety.

"Columbia Records has had a special relationship with Bob Dylan from the beginning of his career and we are tremendously proud and excited to be continuing to grow and evolve our ongoing 60-year partnership," said Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music Group, in a statement. "Bob is one of music's greatest icons and an artist of unrivaled genius.

The news of the acquisition comes around two years after Dylan sold his songwriting rights in 2020 to Universal Music in a deal estimated to be worth around $300 million, according to the New York Times.

Dylan, 80, is one of many older musicians who have sold off rights to their catalogs in recent years. Many in the industry speculate that these sales are part of these artists' estate planning.

Song catalogs are valuable assets, but require extensive management, something that heirs are often unequipped to handle. Additionally, there is a movement in Washington to increase capital gains taxes above their current 20% level.

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