Bruce Springsteen has become the latest artist to join the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Stevie Nicks in selling off their music rights to a Publishing body.
In a whopping $500 million deal, Springsteen has handed over the masters of his entire back catalogue along with the publishing rights to Sony Music Publishing, according to Billboard.
Over the course of his entire career, all of Springsteen’s 300+ songs have been released via the Sony subsidiary, Columbia Records, dating back to 1972, when he was first signed.
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.
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.
However, in 2020, it raked in over $15 million indicating that the value is clearly on the up. If that trend continues then Sony will no doubt be able to recruit their massive lay-off while still holding the asset gains.
With sums this eye-watering, then many more artists might be set to join the fold soon. Let’s just hope all the songs don’t end up on adverts—undoubtedly the realm where great tracks go to die.