by Mark Savage – BBC Music Correspondent
Bruce Springsteen has sold the master recordings and publishing rights for his life’s work to Sony for a reported $500m (£376m).
A 20-time Grammy winner, Springsteen’s music generated about $15m in revenue last year.
Warner Music bought the worldwide rights to Bowie’s music in September, and Dylan sold his catalogue of more than 600 songs in December last year to Universal Music Group at a purchase price widely reported as $300m.
The deals provide immediate financial security to the artists and their estates, while the rights-holders hope to profit by building new revenue streams for the music via film and TV licensing, merchandise, cover versions and performance royalties.
At an investor relations meeting in May, Sony Music’s chief executive, Rob Stringer, said the company had spent $1.4bn in acquisitions over the previous six months. That included a multi-million dollar deal to obtain the rights to Paul Simon’s back catalogue.
Springsteen’s deal would be the most expensive so far, if the numbers reported by music industry bible Billboard are correct.
No public announcement has been made about the sale, and representatives for Sony and Springsteen did not immediately respond to queries from the BBC.