Bob Dylan sells his entire songwriting catalog to Universal Music

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Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Alexandra Canal discuss why Bob Dylan sold his songwriting catalog amid COVID-19.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: "The Times They Are a-Changin." Bob Dylan has sold his entire music catalog to Universal Music Group. It is a deal that is thought to be record-breaking. Alexandra Canal here with all the details. But they didn't disclose how much he sold those songs for, did they?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: They did not. However, sources at both "Bloomberg" and "The New York Times" have said that this deal could be valued anywhere from $200 to $300 million. And as you said, that would make it the biggest deal of its kind. Bob Dylan selling the copyrights of 600 songs that spanned six decades.

And this is something that you might be seeing more and more amid the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, a lot of these artists, they're not able to go out on tour, and that's really how they make the bulk of their income. And besides just COVID-19, the streaming boom has also led to an increase when it comes to how much a song and a record is actually worth.

For example, publishers in the US collected $3.7 billion in 2019. That's according to a report from The National Music Publishers Association. And a lot of that had to do with streaming. So this is something that you might see with other artists.

Just last week, we saw Stevie Nicks sell a majority stake of her songwriting for a reported $100 million. Bob Dylan, he got a little bit more for his. But this is something that is real and that's happening right now amid COVID-19.

It also comes at a great time for Universal Music Group. They are expected to IPO next year. And now they have Bob Dylan, the work from him. They also have Taylor Swift. They signed a deal with her back in February. Two of the biggest songwriters now are in their pocket.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah. That's got to only bode well for a demand for that stock when they do indeed go public. Alexandra Canal, thanks so much.