Bruce Springsteen sells his masters, publishes to Sony for $ 500 million – Billboard
UPDATE: This story was updated December 16 to include Bruce Springsteen’s statement and Eldridge’s involvement.
In what may be the biggest music deal for a set of individual works, Bruce Springsteen sold his masters to Sony Music and his music edition to Sony Music Publishing in a combined deal according to sources. Billboard is in the order of $ 500 million.
“I’m an artist who can really say that when I signed with Columbia Records in 1972, I came to the right place,” Springsteen said in a statement. “For the past 50 years, the men and women of Sony Music have treated me with the utmost respect as an artist and as a person. I am delighted that my legacy continues to be cared for by the company and the people I know and trust.
Like Billboard reported in November, Sony was in negotiations to purchase Springsteen’s album catalog, while the superstar was also purchasing its publishing catalog, which Universal Music Publishing Group administered at the same time. Sources tell Billboard the floor for bidding on the combined assets was $ 350 million, although that number was quickly exceeded. Sony Music Publishing has partnered with Eldridge for the music publishing part.
Springsteen recorded for Sony’s Columbia Records label for his entire 50-year career and, like other top-selling stars of the 70s and 80s, obtained ownership of his previous albums to encourage him to re-sign with the label in the late 80s and 90s as sales exploded during the CD explosion.
The Springsteen album catalog, which has grossed 65.5 million US sales according to the RIAA website, and which includes the 15 times platinum record Born in the United States. and the quintuple platinum River, still has plenty of firepower, as its music has generated 2.25 million units of album consumption in the United States since the start of 2018, according to MRC Data.
Billboard estimates that the Springsteen catalog generated around $ 15 million in revenue in 2020 in a year that saw its catalog activity bolstered by a new release – last October Letter to you – and the postponement of 3 albums released in 2019: Western stars, the Western stars soundtrack and the Blinded by the light soundtrack.
By averaging the past three years of financial statistics from the Springsteen Catalog – a common strategy used to determine valuations – Billboard estimates that Springsteen’s master recordings catalog generated an average of $ 12 million in sales. After deduction of production and distribution costs of 20% of turnover, Billboard estimates that the Springsteen catalog generated gross profit of $ 9.6 million. At a multiple of 15, that would suggest an estimate of $ 145 million; at a multiple of 20 times that would put the valuation at around $ 190 million.
Any further, Billboard estimates that Springsteen’s publishing catalog brings in around $ 7.5 million per year. Therefore, the estimated value of the Springsteen Publishing Catalog is between $ 185 million (at a multiple of 25) to $ 225 million (at a multiple of 30).
The 30-fold multiple of $ 225 million and the 20-fold multiple for masters would bring the total to $ 415 million, but sources say the final price was considerably higher.
The deal comes a year after Universal Music Publishing Group purchased Bob Dylan’s publishing catalog for between $ 375 million and $ 400 million.
Longtime Springsteen Manager Jon Landau could not be immediately reached for comment. Representatives for Sony Music and Sony Music Publishing declined to comment.