Sony Acquires Bob Dylan’s Recorded Music

The entire recorded music catalog of Bob Dylan has been acquired by Sony Music Entertainment, who announced the purchase on 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 Dylan’s entire album collection dating back to 1962, as well as the rights to multiple future releases. The deal closed last year in July and is estimated to be worth between $150 million and $200 million, according to Variety,

Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music Group, says “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. “Bob is one of the music’s greatest icons and an artist of unrivaled genius.”

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

At 80 years old, Dylan is one of many older musicians who have sold off rights to their catalogs in recent years. It’s speculated that moves like these are part of the artists’ estate planning.

There’s a lot of value in song catalogs, but they require extensive management. Many artists acknowledge that their heirs are unequipped to manage them, so they sell them to the companies that specialize in their handlings to ensure their value continues to be maintained well beyond their days. It should also be noted that there is a movement in Washington to increase capital gains taxes above their current 20% level.

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