Music business

Sony Music acquires Bob Dylan’s recorded music catalog

Sony Music Entertainment (SME) has acquired Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of recorded music.

SME has also acquired the rights to several future new releases, in what the company calls “a major expansion” of its six-decade relationship with the legendary artist.

The deal, which SME calls a “historic deal”, reached in July 2021 and includes the entirety of Bob Dylan’s recorded work since 1962, starting with the artist’s self-titled debut album and continuing through 2020, Rough and Rowdy Ways.

Today’s news follows Sony Music Group’s deal last month with fellow superstar artist Bruce Springsteen, in which he acquired two sets of rights – both recordings and publishing musical — spanning Springsteen’s entire catalog, in a deal worth at least $500 million.

Industry sources suggest Sony’s deal with Bob Dylan was worth north of $150 million.

According to a press release announcing today’s news, Bob Dylan and SME will continue to collaborate on a series of future catalog reissues in the artist’s repertoire. Contraband Serieswhich debuted in 1991 and includes 14 releases until last year Spring in New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985).

The agreement also provides the opportunity for SME to partner with Dylan on additional projects.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s singular recording career.

He was signed to SME’s Columbia Records in October 1961 by the label’s John Hammond and recorded his debut album the same year.

His Bob Dylan marked the beginning of an unprecedented musical journey by a master of music that continues to have a profound and global impact on culture.

In the decades since he first burst into public consciousness via New York’s Greenwich Village folk music scene in the early 1960s, Bob Dylan has sold over 125 million records worldwide. He continues to give nearly 100 concerts a year.

He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 – the first songwriter to receive such an honor – cited by the Swedish Academy “for creating new poetic expressions in the great tradition of American song”.

“Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years.”

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan said: “Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years and on many records.

“I am happy that all my recordings can stay in their place.”

Photo credit: Josh Cheuse

“We are excited to work with Bob and his team to find new ways to make his music accessible to his many fans today and to future generations.”

Rob Stringer, Sony Music Group

Rob Stringer, Chairman of Sony Music Group, said, “Columbia Records has had a special relationship with Bob Dylan since the beginning of his career and we are extremely proud and excited to continue to grow and evolve our 60-year-old partnership. . Bob is one of music’s greatest icons and an artist of unparalleled genius.

“The pivotal impact he and his recordings continue to have on popular culture is unparalleled and we are delighted that he is now a permanent member of the Sony Music family.

“We are excited to work with Bob and his team to find new ways to make his music accessible to his many fans today and to future generations.”


In December 2020, Universal Music Group acquired the publishing rights to Dylan’s songwriting catalog in one of the largest acquisitions in UMG history.

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