Bob Dylan sells his entire songwriting catalog to Universal

Universal didn’t disclose a value for the deal, although Dylan’s songs are value greater than $200m, say individuals accustomed to the phrases.

Universal Music Group is buying Bob Dylan’s total track catalog, a group that spans six many years and contains lots of the most iconic tracks in music historical past.

Universal didn’t disclose a value for the deal, although Dylan’s songs are value greater than $200 million, in keeping with individuals accustomed to the phrases. The assortment encompasses 600 works, from early-’60s songs comparable to “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” to an album launched simply this yr, “Rough and Rowdy Ways.”

Dylan, 79, is cashing in on the increase in music rights. The worth of songs and recordings has skyrocketed lately because of streaming, which has fueled a five-year growth for the music business after a deep stoop. He isn’t promoting the recordings, that are a separate asset.

“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,” Universal Chief Executive Officer Lucian Grainge stated in a press release. “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.”

Song rights, represented by music publishers, don’t normally fetch as a lot cash as recordings. But they could be a extra dependable income. Songs can be utilized to become profitable in quite a lot of methods, together with radio play, promoting and film licensing — in contrast with the often-fleeting burst of gross sales from a new report.

Just final week, Stevie Nicks offered a majority stake in her songwriting that valued the catalog at about $100 million.

Dylan has by no means written pop songs — no Dylan track has ever topped the important thing Billboard charts — however few songwriters can declare a deeper catalog. In 2004, Rolling Stone included 15 of his works on its record of the best songs of all time, and positioned “Like a Rolling Stone” on the very prime. Only the Beatles earned extra spots on the record.

Dylan surged onto the scene within the early Sixties as a people poet and wrote songs talking out towards the battle in Vietnam. His transition to electrical guitar and extra of a rock sound in the midst of that decade alienated a few of his most ardent followers, but additionally led to a few of his greatest work, together with “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde.”

The deal strengthens Universal Music Group because it prepares for an preliminary public providing subsequent yr. With its current offers for Taylor Swift and Dylan, Universal has added works from two of probably the most profitable songwriters in music historical past.