Bruce Springsteen is definitely Sony Music’s premiere artist. And the company knows it. Back in 2005, critics went crazy when Bruce got a reported $100 million contract. He’s released plenty of records since then that have sold so-so (like other legacy artists). But his Sony catalog is the key prize– it dates back to 1973. He’s never been with another record company, and all his huge hits from “Born in the USA” to “Born to Run” and the recent “High Hopes” are with them.
So it’s interesting to learn from the Sony hack, via Wikileaks, that last year Bruce signed a deal that takes him through 2027. Also included in the leak is information that Springsteen’s 2007 contract, which was for $101 million, earned $72 million for Sony. Bruce business is good business.
Here’s a portion of one email among Sony execs:
“It’s obviously a rich deal given his stature. However, given his track record, this is not an artist that we can afford to lose. In addition, we still generate significant revenues from his catalog. Under the new agreement, we will have rights to the catalog through mid-2027. We also reviewed the economics of the prior deal, which was in fact much larger than the proposed new agreement. Sony Music earned approximately $72 million above the $101 million paid to Springsteen over the term.”
This could be one reason that Springsteen is finally off the road after touring like a demon for years. He’s also not recording for the first time in a long, long time. The leak shows that he can afford to take a little break, much deserved.
Is Bruce worth all this? In my opinion, he’s worth every cent. He’s also one of the most charitable performing artists in the world. Turns out, it’s not so hard to be a saint in the city.