Bob Dylan sells entire recorded catalogue to Sony Music Entertainment

The deal covers all Dylan recordings dating from 1962 to future originals and reissues, and will explore ‘new ways’ to reach future generations

Bob Dylan has sold his entire back catalogue of recorded music to Sony Music Entertainment, as well as the rights to multiple future releases, in a deal rumoured to be worth between $150m and $200m (£111m–£148m), Variety reports.

The deal covers all Dylan recordings dating from 1962, including his self-titled debut album, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in March, and future releases and reissues in Dylan’s celebrated Bootleg Series.

Dylan signed to Columbia in October 1961. Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music Group, said they were “tremendously proud and excited to be continuing to grow and evolve our ongoing 60-year partnership. Bob is one of music’s great icons and an artist of unrivalled genius.”

The sale would also address “new ways to make his music available to his many fans today and to future generations”, said Stringer.

Dylan said in a statement: “Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years and a whole lot of records. I’m glad that all my recordings can stay where they belong.”

In January, Music Business Worldwide analysed new figures from MRC Data to find that catalogue music (defined as older than 18 months) claimed 73.1% of the US music consumption market in the second half of 2021, and 69.8% of total album consumption.

The deal continues a concerted period of estate management for the 80-year-old songwriter. In 2020, Dylan sold his song catalogue to Universal Music Publishing for a rumoured $400m and donated his personal archives to the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Dylan is currently facing a lawsuit from an anonymous woman who alleges that the musician groomed, inebriated and sexually abused her when she was 12 years old.

He has formally denied the allegations, calling the lawsuit “a brazen shakedown … false, malicious, reckless and defamatory” and the woman’s alleged timeline of events a “chronological impossibility”.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

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