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Bruce Springsteen sells song catalogue to Sony for $500m

Bruce Springsteen has sold his entire song catalogue to Sony Music in a deal worth $500m, according to anonymous sources speaking to Billboard and the New York Times.

The sale, which encompasses his recorded work and his songwriting, will give Sony ownership of one of the most admired bodies of work in pop and rock: over 300 songs spanning 20 studio albums plus other releases.

The huge sum dwarfs even the reported $300m paid by Universal for Bob Dylan’s songwriting catalogue in December 2020, and the reported $150m paid for a 50% share of Neil Young’s catalogue to the UK investment fund Hipgnosis in January 2021.

Numerous other artists have sold off the rights to their work in the last couple of years, including Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac; Paul Simon, Tina Turner, Shakira and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In November it was reported that a sale of David Bowie’s catalogue for around $200m was being prepared.

The deals are taking place as the streaming market consolidates, and begins to generate substantial and ongoing royalty payments for songwriters and performers – particularly for major stars who are likely to accumulate royalties for decades to come. Song catalogues are also valuable because tracks can be synced to advertising, or TV and movie soundtracks, to generate further revenue.

While the musicians could potentially stand to make more money in the long term by holding onto their song rights, a huge cash payout while they are still alive is an attractive prospect, giving them and their estate a simple asset to deal with. Artists trust in, and sometimes have longstanding ties to, the companies they are selling to: in Springsteen’s case, he has been with the Sony-owned Columbia Records since his debut album in 1973.

 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
While the musicians could potentially stand to make more money in the long term by holding onto their song rights, a huge cash payout while they are still alive is an attractive prospect, giving them and their estate a simple asset to deal with. Artists trust in, and sometimes have longstanding ties to, the companies they are selling to: in Springsteen’s case, he has been with the Sony-owned Columbia Records since his debut album in 1973.
Wonder what kind of royalty amounts big artists get per year. $500M seems like overkill, but for the long haul.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
These huge payouts started a few years back and it actually seems to not be a huge over payment in the long game. Michael Jackson made serious bank off of the beetles catalogue when he bought and sold it
Thats the thing. Unless the $500M is total overpayment never to be close to actual valuation, the Boss' catalog is still on the books as a $500M asset. Like a house. Buy a mansion for $3M. Sounds like overpayment, but as long as it doesn't sink, it's still worth $3M if someone wants to sell it 10 years later. Probably worth more.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Thats the thing. Unless the $500M is total overpayment never to be close to actual valuation, the Boss' catalog is still on the books as a $500M asset. Like a house. Buy a mansion for $3M. Sounds like overpayment, but as long as it doesn't sink, it's still worth $3M if someone wants to sell it 10 years later. Probably worth more.
That's what I was getting at though. If there's anyone whose popularity seems to be sinking, it would be him. I don't think I've ever met a single person who even listens to him. I guess Sony is pleased though.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
That's what I was getting at though. If there's anyone whose popularity seems to be sinking, it would be him. I don't think I've ever met a single person who even listens to him. I guess Sony is pleased though.
I know nobody whose listened to him since the 80s. I dont think I remember anyone bringing up his name or songs since. I'm going to assume he has a big draw in blue collar towns and the age of the typical fan is like 50.

Similar to Bon Jovi. Been to a few concerts over the past 10-15 years. Just about everyone was at least 35 years old. Tons of 40-50 year old trashy moms. My first BJ concert I was in my low 30s. I had to be among the youngest people there along with my coworkers who were also around my age.
 
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EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Elite artist, and in todays recent streaming surge that’s a clutch deal only an idiot wouldn’t take that money so I don’t have a problem with it.
 

DKehoe

Member
I don't really get it for someone who already has enough money for the rest of their life (and for their kids, grandkids etc.)
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I don't really get it for someone who already has enough money for the rest of their life (and for their kids, grandkids etc.)
Money talks.

So even for artists (who are probably the biggest supporters of creativity and owning your own work etc.....), there's going to be a price to dump it all for moolah.
 

DKehoe

Member
Money talks.

So even for artists (who are probably the biggest supporters of creativity and owning your own work etc.....), there's going to be a price to dump it all for moolah.
I guess so. $500 million is going to be hard for almost anyone to turn down. But I just would have thought that once money is longer really a concern for you wouldn't it be more important to retain control of your life's work? Would you really want your songs popping up in commercials for all kinds of shit? Like the article says maybe the idea is that it makes your estate more manageable in the future.
 

jason10mm

Member
Does this mean he has to stop performing or that he now has to pay to perform his own songs?

I imagine that he has a deal to keep singing his own stuff (which would only boost the value of the catalogue I suspect) but if he falls on the wrong side of a social media witch hunt would Sony pull the plug in order to save face?
 

WFairfax89

Neo Member
Personally, I'm happy for Bruce, he became a real music legend during his lifetime and I like some of his songs ( Streets of Philadelphia, for example). I hope, he will be alright .
 

FrankCaron

Member
That lump sum (or even a good portion of it) if wealth managed correctly will likely generate more in returns of dividends, interest, and asset / stock gains annually than his annual royalties in perpetuity. Smart move to diversify later in life given the reality of streaming's monetization model and the fading interest in his music.
 
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TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
Nice to see Sony's Music division can just splash out 500m for back catalogue records
 

TurnOneYeti

Member
At a half a billion, no one should be using the term “sell out.” Also it’s stupid overpriced imo. Wasn’t this guy in legal trouble not too long ago?
 

DanteFox

Member
Thats the thing. Unless the $500M is total overpayment never to be close to actual valuation, the Boss' catalog is still on the books as a $500M asset. Like a house. Buy a mansion for $3M. Sounds like overpayment, but as long as it doesn't sink, it's still worth $3M if someone wants to sell it 10 years later. Probably worth more.
It will also jump up in value after he eventually passes away.
 

Winter John

Member
You'd have to be a complete moron to call Bruce Springsteen a "sell out." The man has been one of the top commercial selling artists since the 70s, not some hopeless, no name garage punk. Anyway, good for him. You have to work hard to survive that long at the top
 

Hari Seldon

Gold Member
I dunno I wouldn't sell. You are setting up your family for generations of wealth as it will only get more valuable as time goes on.
 

Dr.Morris79

Member
I dunno I wouldn't sell. You are setting up your family for generations of wealth as it will only get more valuable as time goes on.
For 500 million? You'd sell.

As for generations, if the last two years tought you anything it's that the generations part of your comment could possibly not be a thing, for any of us

..You'd sell.
 

Kenpachii

Gold Member
I dunno I wouldn't sell. You are setting up your family for generations of wealth as it will only get more valuable as time goes on.

Yea like your family is going to hold on to those rights ( on a bunch of songs that become less relevant each day ) etc when they can sell it off the next day and become instant super rich all of them.

Bruce knows this, and he's better of selling it now and basically live like a king from his own work at this point and reserve a bunch money for his family when he passes away.

500m for a bunch of songs that are dated is also ridiculous in mine view.
 
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Tschumi

Member
look.. i don't care who you are... when ur a decade or two from death's door and a confirmed luxurious retirement is on offer, and you have enjoyed owning those songs but they're really just songs you've sung ad nauseum ur whole life... and u pretty much own anything you'd possibly want by now... i'm just trying to say, i understand his decision and don't hold it against him.

giving money to later generations is overrated, pay for their healthcare and college and stuff but don't let them coast through life or you're just making pointless shells
 
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Porcile

Member
Good for Bruce. Musicians and creators like him work their arses off. The Red Hot Chili Peppers just did the same thing too. Surely their reward for staying so relevent for such a long time.
 

IDKFA

Member
 

RoboFu

One of the green rats
Kind of weird actually, seems like he would want his kids to own them as he already has a lot of money to pass down.
 

Nester99

Member
That's what I was getting at though. If there's anyone whose popularity seems to be sinking, it would be him. I don't think I've ever met a single person who even listens to him. I guess Sony is pleased though.
They will see his music to commercials and movies. It’s not really about records anymore.

Your gonna see Born in the USA on a lot of truck commercials.
 
Since he is a very out spoken liberal, I am curious how Bruce is gonna feel about paying full Taxes on this sale. Or if he is he already did the sale in some Caymen holding company and will pay zero.
 
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