Sony acquires Bruce Springsteen’s catalog and music publishing in massive $500m deal

bruce springsteen (SINGLE USE)
(Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Music legend Bruce Springsteen has sold his entire music catalog including publishing rights to Sony in a $500m deal. The deal includes sole ownership of Springsteen’s 20 studio albums, 23 live albums, and 7 EPs and totals over 300 songs. It follows a string of high-level music catalog acquisitions such as Blondie, acquired by investment fund, Hipgnosis, David Bowie, acquired by Warner Music, and most notably, Bob Dylan, who sold his catalog to Universal Music group for $300m in December of last year.

Springsteen’s record label for his 50-year career has been Columbia, a Sony-owned imprint since 1989. The artist gained control of his catalog and publishing during contract renegotiations with Columbia in the ’80s and ’90s. Springsteen has reportedly been in negotiations with Sony since last month.

From his early days in New Jersey clubs to the heights of the multi-platinum selling album to his days now as an elder statesman of rock and roll, Bruce Springsteen has been one of the most successful recording artists of all time. He has generated scores of hits such as ‘Born to Run’, ‘Dancing in the Dark’, ‘Philadelphia’, and ‘Born in the USA’, selling over 150 million albums worldwide. Springsteen is widely regarded as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time and has been called, “the quintessential album-era rock star” by music critic Ann Powers.

According to Sony Music Chief Executive, Rob Stringer, the company has spent $1.4 billion in acquisitions over the last six months. Prior to the Springsteen deal, they had also attained Paul Simon’s catalog in another multi-million dollar deal.

The $500m price tag of the Springsteen catalog will make it the most expensive such deal yet. There is no word on what the artist plans to do next, but he is showing little signs of slowing down, even at the age of 72. Springsteen recently completed a 31-show run of his Springsteen on Broadway concert residency. His latest album Letter to You debuted at the number two spot on the Billboard 200 chart, making it his 21st charting album. Springsteen reportedly made over $15m in 2020.