Bob Dylan Sells Entire Songwriting Catalog to the Universal Music Publishing Group

Bob Dylan has sold his entire songwriting catalog to the Universal Music Publishing Group. The catalog includes over 600 songs including the classics “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”

At the age of 79, Bob Dylan is one of the most well known folk singers in the world and selling the catalog of his music, which the rights have been held by him for most of his career, is huge news, not only in the music realms but in the world as a whole. It has been a trend for musicians to sell their catalogs of music during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Just last week another big name, Stevie Nicks, sold a majority stake in her songwriting catalog for an estimated $80 million to Primary Wave Music which is an independent publisher and marketing company. It’s unclear if these buyouts are directly influenced by the ongoing pandemic but it’s hard to believe they aren’t connected. 

It’s unclear how much Bob Dylan received in compensation for his songwriting catalog but according to The New York Times, it is estimated at more than $300 million.

The deal covers the entirety of Bob Dylan’s long career. All the way back to his earliest work right up to his latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways. This deal was struck directly with Bob Dylan by Universal Music Publishing Group.

Bob Dylan at the Civil Rights March on Washington.

The deal leaves Dylan with 100 percent of rights for all the songs of his catalog. What this means is that he will still collect the income he receives as a songwriter and will still be in control individual song copyrights. So what is Universal Music Publishing Group getting out of it?  Universal Music Publishing Group’s division of the French media conglomerate Vivendi, will collect all future income from the songs. 

Dylan has made no public comment on the deal. 

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