(Reuters) -Bob Dylan has sold his entire catalog of more than 600 songs spanning six decades to Universal Music Group’s music publishing arm, the company said on Monday.
The deal includes Dylan’s iconic 1960s counterculture songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Like a Rolling Stone”, the company said in a statement, but did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Dylan’s song catalog was previously administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, according to a Variety report
The song-catalog bonanza of 2020 just hit a peak that is not likely to be topped: Universal Music Publishing Group has acquired Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of songs in a blockbuster agreement encompassing more than 600 copyrights spanning 60 years, ranging from 1962’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” to this year’s “Murder Most Foul.”
His catalog was previously administered in the U.S. by his own company; a rep for Sony/ATV Music Publishing tells Variety that it will continue to administer Dylan’s catalog outside of the U.S. through the end of their agreement “in several years.”
Terms were not disclosed, but a source tells Variety that the deal was easily in nine figures. Since 80% of Stevie Nicks’ publishing catalog was acquired by Primary Wave last week for a reported $100 million, the Dylan catalog likely drew a number well above that.
Dylan has long controlled the rights to the vast majority of his compositions. Since the UMPG deal makes no mention of future compositions, presumably he is free to sign a new deal for them, although he has released just two albums of original material in the past decade.
The influence and impact of Dylan’s songs cannot be overstated: In 2016, he was the first songwriter to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, cited by the Swedish Academy “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” According to UMPG, his songs have been recorded more than 6,000 times over the past six decades, by a vast array of artists all across the world, particularly songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “Forever Young,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” “Tangled Up
In Blue,” “Gotta Serve Somebody,” the Academy Award-winning “Things Have Changed” and so many more. Since the release of his first album in 1961, Dylan, 79, has sold more than 125 million records around the world, and, although sidelined by the pandemic, he has toured relentlessly since 1988, performing more than a hundred shows each year since.
The 79-year-old American singer-songwriter, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, has sold more than 125 million records around the world.