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Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

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Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Old 12-16-21, 08:28 AM
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Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Bruce Springsteen reportedly sold his music catalog worth hundreds of millions of dollars - CNN

(CNN)"The Boss" may have just made a cool half-billion dollars.

Bruce Springsteen has sold the rights to his music catalog to Sony Music Entertainment for a value that could be north of $500 million, according to The New York Times, citing sources briefed on the deal. The deal would be the largest ever transaction for a single artist's catalog, according to the Times, and would include his work as both a singer and songwriter.

Billboard was the first to report the sale.

Bruce Springsteen reopens Broadway with first full-capacity show since pandemic

One of the premier rock artists of all time, Springsteen is responsible for such hits as "Born in the USA," "Dancing in the Dark" and "Born to Run." He and the E Street Band, who he has played with for decades, have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Springsteen's latest album, "Letter to You," was released in October 2020.Springsteen reopened Broadway in June with his "Springsteen on Broadway" performances after Covid-19 restrictions halted full-capacity shows for more than a year.
Old 12-16-21, 10:16 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

I never quite understood why somebody prominent would be doing such a sale of the copyrights of their lifetime work.
Old 12-16-21, 10:25 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

He's 72, and maybe he decided he wanted the cash for his heirs. He might be selling at the top. Rock and roll is a dying art form, and when the baby boomers kick off, his catalog will be worth less.
Old 12-16-21, 11:06 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Does that mean we will soon be barraged with "Born in the USA" truck ads?
Old 12-16-21, 11:12 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Gotta pay those property taxes for the farm.
Old 12-16-21, 05:57 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Depressing.
Old 12-16-21, 06:56 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Far be it from me to think someone should decline a 500 million dollar pay day, but damn. How bad an artist wants ownership of their works is inversely proportionate to the size of the dump-truck full of money.
Old 12-16-21, 06:59 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
Depressing.
Artists who don't own their catalogs and can't buy them back is depressing. Artists who sell their entire catalog for a half billion on their own terms to create generational wealth for their families? That doesn't depress me much even if it means my favorite songs will soon be turned into jingles for running shoes and pickup trucks.
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Old 12-16-21, 07:05 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Decker
Artists who don't own their catalogs and can't buy them back is depressing. Artists who sell their entire catalog for a half billion on their own terms to create generational wealth for their families? That doesn't depress me much even if it means my favorite songs will soon be turned into jingles for running shoes and pickup trucks.
He's already worth about 500 mil. How much wealth does his family need?
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Old 12-16-21, 07:21 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Updated story from NYT

Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalog in Massive Deal

Sony Music Entertainment buys the Boss’s entire corpus, including classics like “Born to Run,” for an estimated $550 million.



Bruce Springsteen has sold his music rights to Sony Music Entertainment in what may well be the biggest transaction ever struck for a single artist’s body of work.

News of the deal, which covers the entirety of Springsteen’s work as a recording artist and songwriter, emerged late Wednesday, with no comment from Sony or Springsteen. But on Thursday, Sony — which owns the Columbia label, the home for Springsteen’s recordings for five decades — confirmed the sale.

“I am one artist who can truly say that when I signed with Columbia Records in 1972, I came to the right place,” Springsteen said in Sony’s statement. “During the last 50 years, the men and women of Sony Music have treated me with the greatest respect as an artist and as a person. I’m thrilled that my legacy will continue to be cared for by the company and people I know and trust.”

Specific terms were not disclosed, but the transaction is valued at about $550 million, according to two people briefed on the deal, who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
ADVERTISEMENTSony clarified that the agreement involves two separate deals — one for Springsteen’s recorded work and another for his songwriting rights, known as music publishing. Some of the financing for the publishing acquisition was contributed by Eldridge, a private investment firm whose other media deals have included the songwriting catalog of the rock band the Killers.

Springsteen’s deal, which was signed in the days before Thanksgiving, will give Sony ownership of the star’s complete collection of classic songs like “Born to Run,” “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Blinded by the Light.”

It is the latest and biggest megadeal in what has been a frothy couple of years in which investors, major music companies and private equity firms — lured by the rise of streaming and a promise of growing music revenues for years to come — have poured billions of dollars into buying song catalogs.

Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Stevie Nicks, Shakira, Neil Young and many other stars have sold all or parts of their work for prices reaching into the hundreds of millions. Dylan’s deal, with Universal Music Publishing Group last year, was only for his songwriting and was estimated at well over $300 million.
ADVERTISEMENTMore big deals are expected to close by the end of the year, including one for the songwriting rights of David Bowie.

At a Sony investor relations meeting in May, Rob Stringer, the chief executive of Sony Music, said that the company had spent $1.4 billion in acquisitions in the previous six months, a period that included the Simon deal as well as others for entire companies like AWAL, which provides services to independent artists.

Springsteen, 72, has been with Columbia Records, a unit of Sony Music, for the entirety of his five-decade career, and has long controlled the rights to his recordings. He also owns the copyrights to his songwriting and essentially acts as his own music publisher, though since 2017 his songwriting has been administered by Universal.
Old 12-16-21, 07:24 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

I will say that Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Neil Young know more about songwriting then anyone here and if they all think now is the right time to sell their catalogs, then it probably is.
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Old 12-16-21, 07:53 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Decker
I will say that Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Neil Young know more about songwriting then anyone here and if they all think now is the right time to sell their catalogs, then it probably is.
These guys would definitely know the pattern of their royalty statements over the past several decades, and how it was changing with time.
Old 12-16-21, 08:08 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Kurt D
He's already worth about 500 mil. How much wealth does his family need?
Personally I don't give a shit if an artist sells his music catalogue or not - it really makes no difference to me. It's not like the music will change or be unavailable. And it's definitely their right to sell if they want to.

But I don't buy the reason for selling is to set his family up for the future since he could do that now anyway. He's filthy rich now. Plus passing along the catalogue to them would ensure the families would continue to be wealthy. I agree that it could be him selling on a high as I suspect the audience for Springsteen/s music will be a small fraction in 30 years or so.
Old 12-16-21, 08:58 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Coral
Personally I don't give a shit if an artist sells his music catalogue or not - it really makes no difference to me. It's not like the music will change or be unavailable. And it's definitely their right to sell if they want to.

But I don't buy the reason for selling is to set his family up for the future since he could do that now anyway. He's filthy rich now. Plus passing along the catalogue to them would ensure the families would continue to be wealthy. I agree that it could be him selling on a high as I suspect the audience for Springsteen/s music will be a small fraction in 30 years or so.
I don't begrudge them; their art, their choice. I do feel like the decision in each case, no matter what they say, is to make as much money as possible, which I guess is why we're all here.
Old 12-16-21, 09:00 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

I think it's less about 'setting up his family for wealth' and more about 'making it far easier/cleaner to distribute that wealth' without having some bullshit estate infighting over every minute detail for decades to come.
I don't like that it's all in Sony's hands either, but I can't imagine many wouldn't have done the same.
Let's just hope they don't turn it around and resell everything as NFTs or some bullshit.

Old 12-16-21, 09:05 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive.
Take your place on the highway in a new Ford Mustang.
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Old 12-16-21, 10:46 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

First off, happy he had the rights. Up to him if he wants to sell or not.
Old 12-16-21, 11:01 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

So he loses the steady stream of royalties but gets a wad of cash he can reinvest to diversify his portfolio? I think financial advisors would approve.
Old 12-16-21, 11:10 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by davidh777
So he loses the steady stream of royalties but gets a wad of cash he can reinvest to diversify his portfolio? I think financial advisors would approve.
That raises an interesting question : Does that mean he has to pay capital gains tax on that $550M deal?
Old 12-16-21, 11:30 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Decker
That raises an interesting question : Does that mean he has to pay capital gains tax on that $550M deal?
The worst case scenario is if it is considered straight "income" and is taxed at the highest income tax bracket.
Old 12-16-21, 11:31 PM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by morriscroy
The worst case scenario is if it is considered straight "income" and is taxed at the highest income tax bracket.
Maybe that’s why some are selling their catalog this year as opposed to next?
Old 12-17-21, 06:51 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by davidh777
So he loses the steady stream of royalties but gets a wad of cash he can reinvest to diversify his portfolio? I think financial advisors would approve.
He can easily earn more per year from investing the $550M than he can from royalties. Big hit songs earn an artist about $100K per year in royalties for each song. Stuff like Born To Run, Sweet Home Alabama, Pinball Wizard, etc. If he can get 10% per year on that 500M he's way ahead. No way he's raking in 50M per year in royalties.

This probably isn't considered regular income like winning the lottery. More like selling an asset. Selling your house for more than what you paid for it.
Old 12-17-21, 07:10 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Decker
Maybe that’s why some are selling their catalog this year as opposed to next?
In this case, it might not be income or capital gains taxes per se that is prominent. (Regardless of whether taxes are hiked up by the current government).

If springsteen has plans to pass on his stuff to his family, there is the issue of inheritance "death" taxes which his family would have to deal with depending on the jurisdiction(s) they live in.

It might very well be easier to pass on his stuff/wealth to his family in the form of tax-free (or lower-tax) cash amounts while he is still alive, than his family dealing with the "death taxes" incurred by his publishing rights to his music after he has died.
Old 12-17-21, 08:43 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by Decker
Maybe that’s why some are selling their catalog this year as opposed to next?
Rolling Stone points out, Springsteen might’ve been incentivized to sell because interest rates are at historic lows, and numerous artists want to personally oversee these sales before their families have to deal with it.

Originally Posted by Decker
Does that mean we will soon be barraged with "Born in the USA" truck ads?
Neil Young sold only half his publishing, and one of the conditions was that the songs cannot be used in advertisements.
Old 12-17-21, 09:11 AM
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Re: Bruce Springsteen Sells Music Catalogue for $500 Million

Originally Posted by dex14
Rolling Stone points out, Springsteen might’ve been incentivized to sell because interest rates are at historic lows, and numerous artists want to personally oversee these sales before their families have to deal with it.
"Low interest rates" seems to be an odd reason at first.

The only semi-plausible argument I can think of offhand for this, would be Sony and other music publishing companies currently having easy access to low-interest bank loans or issuing bonds at lower yield rates on the financial markets. At higher interest/yield rates, this source of borrowed cash might be entirely absent for music publishing companies.

This would suggest the window of opportunity at this time for "cashing out" at these high inflated dollar figures, might not last for long. (ie. Cash out before the bubble deflates).

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