Bob Dylan Sells His Songwriting Catalogue To Universal Music For $300 Million
Bob Dylan has sold his songwriting catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group in what is being regarded as one of the biggest music publishing deals of the century, according to a UMPG statement released earlier today. Since Dylan is a music publisher himself, through the Bob Dylan Music Company, he formerly had full control of the copyrights from previous albums, save for those signed off in his first and only publishing deal ever, with Leeds Music Publishing. Leeds Music Publishing was sold to the company now known as UMPG back in 1964.
“As someone who began his career in music publishing, it is with enormous pride that today we welcome Bob Dylan to the UMG family,” Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMPG, said. “Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless—whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday. It is no exaggeration to say that his vast body of work has captured the love and admiration of billions of people all around the world. I have no doubt that decades, even centuries from now, the words and music of Bob Dylan will continue to be sung and played—and cherished—everywhere.”
In exchange for a non-disclosed payment to Dylan estimated at around $300 million, UMPG will now collect all future royalties and licensing fees from his songs. Though the landmark deal does not include any future songs Dylan writes, his already published songs have, according to UMPG, already been recorded over 6,000 times, and are set to generate income for years to come. Back in 2016, Dylan was even awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
“To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time – whose cultural importance can’t be overstated – is both a privilege and a responsibility,” said Jody Gerson, UMPG Chairman & CEO. “We look forward to working with Bob and the team in ensuring his artistry continues to reach and inspire generations of fans, recording artists and songwriters around the world.”
According to a spokesperson for Dylan, the singer-songwriter himself had no comment on the deal.