Springsteen sells music catalog for $500 million
Sony Music said on Dec. 16 it has bought the rights to Bruce Springsteen’s music catalog, reportedly for half a billion dollars, making him the latest superstar singer to join a frenzy of such sales fueled by the pandemic.
According to The New York Times and U.S. entertainment outlet Billboard, the sale consists of Springsteen’s music catalog as well as his entire body of work as a songwriter such as iconic hit “Born in the USA,” which has sold nearly 30 million copies.
The Times cited sources briefed on the deal. Sony confirmed the sale in a statement but did not say how much the agreement was for.
“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,” Springsteen said in Sony’s statement. “I’m thrilled that my legacy will continue to be cared for by the Company and people I know and trust.”
Nicknamed “The Boss” and “America’s dad,” Springsteen, 72, has been with Sony’s Columbia Records for his entire 50-year career, selling more than 150 million records.
Admired at home and around the world, the New Jersey-born musical folk storyteller has won 20 Grammy awards. He recently launched a conversational podcast and accompanying book with former US president Barack Obama, titled “Renegades: Born in the USA.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the performance industry reeling, but music publishing, a normally under-the-radar side of the business, is a booming business.
The royalty streams of songwriting copyright portfolios can prove lucrative for the long haul and are increasingly enticing investors, even as other industries tank under the weight of the pandemic.
In October, 81-year-old Tina Turner sold her music rights to German group BMG for an undisclosed amount.
Industry experts say catalog prices started rising before 2020 but skyrocketed during the pandemic when artists found themselves deprived of tours and concerts.
The company leading much of the business is Hipgnosis Songs Fund, a British investment and management company launched on the London Stock Exchange in July 2018. Other major players include Primary Wave, which struck the Nicks deal, Tempo Investments, Round Hill and Reservoir.