The rights they change.
Bob Dylan has sold his entire six-decade catalog of songs to Universal Music Group, which is considered the largest of its kind.
Universal announced the deal early Monday. The publisher’s CEO, Jody Gerson, called him “both a privilege and a responsibility” to represent the work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
A price for the deal was not disclosed, but people familiar with it told Bloomberg that the songs were worth more than $ 200 million, while others told the New York Times that it could be more than $ 300 million.
That would likely make it the largest single act music release acquisition, the newspaper said.
Dylan – who previously controlled most of his own songwriting copyrights – sold more than 600 copyrights over 60 years, Universal said.
These include classics that made him an icon of his time in New York in the early 1960s – such as “Blowin ‘in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin'” – up to the 79-year-old songwriter’s latest album this year “Rough and Rowdy Ways”.
“It is no exaggeration to say that his vast body of work has captured the love and admiration of billions of people around the world,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, of his “enormous pride” in the deal with Dylan.
“I have no doubt that in decades or even centuries, Bob Dylan’s words and music will continue to be sung and played – and cherished – everywhere.”
He called songwriting “the basic key to all great music,” adding, “Bob is one of the greatest practitioners of the art.
“Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, informative and provocative, his songs are timeless – whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday.”
Dylan is just the latest legend to benefit from a music rights boom. Just last week, former Fleetwood Mac front woman Stevie Nicks sold a controlling stake in her songwriting, which valued the catalog at around $ 100 million.
Dylan’s catalog contains some of the most iconic pieces in music history – songs that have been recorded more than 6,000 times by artists around the world, according to Universal.