Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bruce Springsteen Signed an Extraordinary $31 Million Contract with Sony Last Year


Bruce Springsteen is on a little bit of a work vacation right now. But he won’t be for long. I can tell you that last summer Springsteen signed a new deal with Sony Music for $31 million that will take him until 2027. The deal calls for a number of box sets and greatest hits packages, plus four new albums of material.

For all this, Sony agreed to $31 million total, with $13 million paid up front as an advance. Remember, this money doesn’t include Springsteen’s massive touring income, royalties for radio play, his publishing deal, and so on. This is just so Sony continues to own his catalog. They’re also betting that Springsteen has more classic new work in him. (It’s safe bet.)

Just about no one in the “senior” category of rock and roll has a deal like this. Also, no one else– with maybe the exception of Barbra Streisand– has been with the same record company for an entire career. Bob Dylan, also with Sony (like Bruce and Babs), wandered off the farm in 1976 briefly with a stint at Geffen Records. Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis come close, but they have a few non-Sony/Columbia releases on their resumes.

But Bruce’s situation is unique in that he writes his own music and is not a cover artist. Among rock stars of his generation or even the older one, no one can claim this– not even Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger. For a while McCartney was very prolific, but even he fell behind Springsteen (he’s also a decade younger).

According to the Sony approval memo found in the Wikileaks papers (the Sony hack) Springsteen will also be delivering box sets of “The River,” “Nebraska,” “Born in the USA,” second box set of “Tracks,” as well as greatest hits. He retains the right to sell his downloads of his live concerts himself or through another party if he pays Columbia 12.5% of the gross receipts. And he owns his own master recordings.

Is there a lot that hasn’t been released or officially made available? Oh yes. Just think of how many times Bruce has performed for charity events or as a guest on other artists’ recordings.

The sweetest part? Sony is writing off around $25 million of the unearned balance of Springsteen’s last deal.

Altogether, Sony expects to earn $35 million in worldwide profits from this deal.

In case you were wondering, Bruce will be 78 years old when his entire deal with Sony is over. And still rocking like crazy.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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