Bob Dylan, whose music career has stretched from the early-1960s folk scene to a critically acclaimed album released earlier this year, has sold his entire song catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group.
The landmark deal covers more than 600 copyrighted works stretching from “Blowin’ In The Wind” to this year’s “Murder Most Foul” from his latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but multiple press reports pegged the valuation at $300 million. The transaction follows deals for work by Stevie Nicks and a number of other artists in recent months. As streaming continues to transform the music business, song rights for established artists have risen in value and the publishing sector has seen its overall worth approach $4 billion in annual revenue.
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“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,” UMPG Chairman & CEO Jody Gerson said. “The UMPG global team is honored to be Bob Dylan’s publishing partner and I especially want to acknowledge [company COO] Marc Cimino, whose passion and perseverance were instrumental in bringing this opportunity to us. 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.”
Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge added, “It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art. 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.”
Dylan, 79, has sold more than 125 million records around the world. The Nobel Prize for Literature winner has had his songs recorded more than 6,000 times.
His catalog includes songs like “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.” He won an Oscar in 2000 for “Things Have Changed” from the film Wonder Boys.