Bob Dylan sells entire songwriting catalogue to Universal Music Group

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Bob Dylan sells entire songwriting catalogue to Universal Music Group

Words by Will Brewster

Spanning a whopping six decades with over 600 songs.

In a landmark moment for music publishing, US folk great Bob Dylan has sold the entirety of his songwriting catalogue to Universal Music Publishing.

The deal, which is considered to be the biggest acquisition of one songwriter’s publishing rights in history, was confirmed by Universal Music Publishing overnight, with some estimating the purchase to have been in excess of $300 million USD.

The agreement will see Universal own the rights to all recordings released by Dylan from the 1960s until today, including this year’s Rough and Rowdy Ways as well as songs penned alongside The Band. Dylan, however, will retain all publishing of any material released after today’s massive deal.

“It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art,” Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said of the news in a statement to the press.

“Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless—whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday. It is no exaggeration to say that his vast body of work has captured the love and admiration of billions of people all around the world.

“I have no doubt that decades, even centuries from now, the words and music of Bob Dylan will continue to be sung and played—and cherished—everywhere.”

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