You won’t find a more prolific or successful musician on our planet. Bob Dylan continues to break records that many people thought were impossible even to reach.
Although bands like The Rolling Stones have had lasting power, Dylan has nearly six decades of industry experience after writing titles like “Blowin’ in the Wind.
He recently sold his entire song catalog, which encompasses over 600 songs, to the Universal Music Publishing Group. The whole deal is estimated to be worth over $300 million, making the deal potentially the largest investment ever for songwriting rights.
Full disclosure: Universal has not disclosed their negotiated purchase price.
Why Would Universal Pay That Much for Dylan’s Music?
Universal falls under the ownership umbrella of Vivendi, which is a French media giant. Now that the rights have transferred from Dylan to them, they’ll receive compensation whenever another artist covers a song that the musician wrote.
Vivendi also get the revenues from streamed songs, commercial sales, and broadcasts. If you hear a Bob Dylan song in a movie, this company gets paid for that result.
Songwriting rights are different than recording rights.
Dylan’s music has already been recorded by others over 6,000 times, including hits from Guns N’ Roses and Jimi Hendrix. Universal is not getting a piece of that pie. Instead, they’re receiving the portion that Dylan gets for being the author of the work.
At 79 years old, Dylan has had numerous notable accomplishments during his career. He’s won an Oscar, holds a Golden Globe, and over ten Grammy awards. Five of his songs are currently in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The deal struck by Universal includes every song, starting with his self-titled debut and ending with his latest album called “Rough and Rowdy Ways.”
Dylan has been recording music since 1962 and sold more than 125 million records.