Rocker Bruce Springsteen is already a millionaire. But now he’s in talks to sell both the rights to his recorded music and his entire publishing catalog to Sony Music, in a deal that would make the musician a millionaire many times over.
Springsteen, who signed with Columbia Records in the 1970s, at some point got the rights to his own music. Now, in the midst of the streaming boom, he knows he can get top dollar for selling them back to a major label, Billboard reports.
In total, Springsteen’s music rights have an estimated net worth of $330 million to $415 million.
Bruce Springsteen in Talks to Sell Rights and Catalog
If Sony gets total ownership of Springsteen’s masters, that could mean they don’t have to pay royalties to the artist anymore, per Billboard. But Springsteen would probably have to get a lot in return for him to give up his royalties.
Sources told the publication that Springsteen’s reps are asking for upwards of $350 million for both the recorded masters catalog and the publishing catalog.
Springsteen’s album catalog boasts 65.5 million U.S. sales and 2.25 million album consumption units in America since 2018, according to RIAA and MRC data. Among its hits are “Born in the U.S.A.,” which went platinum 15 times over, and “The River,” which went platinum five times.
Springsteen Would Not Be the First Artist to Make Such a Move
While artists are usually reluctant to give up the rights to their own music, those rights require a fair amount of maintenance, and managing publishing catalogs is especially labor-intensive, per Variety.
As retirement approaches, some artists look to provide for their heirs in a more practical way. Bob Dylan, for example, sold his album catalog to Universal Music Publishing last year for around $400 million.
If Springsteen retires, that will cut off one source of income for him and his family. The musician has amassed more than $840 million from touring between 2010 and 2019, according to Pollstar. He also sells some live archive recordings to fans on his website.
Still, the deal that’s in the works with Sony should set Springsteen up nicely for the foreseeable future. Sources told Variety that the recorded music catalog deal is almost done, but the publishing catalog is still in play as of right now.