How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man? And for how many millions must a songwriter’s catalog sell, before Bob Dylan feels less than? The answer, my friend, is in the neighborhood of $500 million. The answer is in the neighborhood of $500 million.
According to a report from Billboard, Bruce Springsteen has sold his masters to Sony Music and his music publishing catalog to Sony Music Publishing in a combined deal the magazine estimates to be in the neighborhood of $500 million. They estimated this through all sorts of math that you can read at their website, but I will attempt to explain it to you in brief: It’s what all his stuff has sold in the past three years, multiplied by like … some amount, or … I don’t know.
Regardless, I trust them. You may remember last year Bob Dylan’s catalog sold for a record $300 million to Universal Music Publishing Group. Now Bruce Springsteen’s deal is being called, by the New York Times, “the biggest transaction ever struck for a single artist’s body of work.” Damn. Dylan’s deal didn’t include the sale of his masters, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if you think Bob Dylan is crying in defeat at his measly $300 million and no one can console him about it, not even if they speak to him very sweetly and make for him his very favorite tasty treats. Or maybe he is fine with it and still considers himself the Real Boss. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know how Bob Dylan is feeling about the sale.
One result of the deal is that Sony can now license Bruce Springsteen’s songs for use in advertisements, etc. What kind of ads do you think we’re gonna start hearing him in now? I’d love a Sour Patch Kids ad set to “Candy’s Room.” Or a healthy-joint dog food ad set to “Born to Run.” A bunch of old dogs running. “Hungry Heart” is for a blood thinner ad. What else. “Tougher Than the Rest” is obviously jeans. “I’m on Fire” is for eczema. “No Surrender” is an ad to join the army. “Racing in the Street” — it’s a car insurance ad, but they don’t use the lyrics, and you don’t realize it’s a car insurance ad until the very end. And so on like that.