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Credit: EJ Hersom

Music

Bruce Springsteen in talks to sell back catalogue to Sony Music

@SamWKemp

According to reports, Bruce Springsteen is currently in talks to sell the rights to his recorded music to Sony as well as his publishing catalogue. The album catalogue deal has nearly been finalised. The publishing catalogue, however, is yet to be sold.

Springsteen has been contracted to Sony Music’s Columbia Records ever since he first signed with the label in 1972. Later in his career, he managed to secure the sights to his music as a part of a contract, a rare feat for musicians of Springsteen’s generation.

While you’d think selling the rights to their music catalogue goes against the principles of musician’s such as Springsteen’s era, the star is by far the first to reach or such a sale. Bob Dylan, for example, made headlines when he sold his entire catalogue to Universal for an estimated $300 million.

The rise in artist’s selling their songs to big labels coincides with the unprecedented increase of their value, meaning that the likes of Dylan and Springsteen are in the perfect position to optimise the value of their assets, leaving their heirs with hefty inheritances without the responsibility of acting as custodians. Another motivation behind the increase in catalogue sales is perhaps due to the expected rise in capital gains taxes, with US Democrats holding both the White House and the House of Representatives until at least 2023.

As one of the most successful recording artists of all time, Springsteen is in a very good position, with 65.5 million album sales in the US alone. The RIAA reported that the singer-songwriter’s gargantuan song catalogue generates thousands of cover versions every year, estimating that Springsteen’s catalogue generates about $7.5 million per year. In 2020, however, it raked in over $15 million. That’s not even to mention the dozens of archival live recordings that Springsteen sells from his website, to which he owns the rights, meaning he is able to bypass record labels completely.

Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but it looks as though Springsteen will be opting for the most lucrative option available.