Bob Dylan's decision to sell the publishing rights to his massive catalog of songs has led to a number of other musicians following suit. Lindsey Buckingham and Neil Young are the latest, joining Stevie Nicks, Steve Winwood and others. Dylan reportedly raked in close to half a billion dollars. Young is said to have parted with 50% of his titles for $150 million, and Nicks sold an 80% share for an undisclosed figure. Buckingham is parting with the portion he hadn't already sold.
The uptick in deals comes as musicians that already lost big chunks of income as music sales transitioned from physical form to mp3 and streaming platforms are also losing touring income due to Covid restrictions on concerts.
The companies buying the rights will look to capitalize on their investment through licensing deals for the songs in films and advertising. It's a safe bet that Young's This Note's For You, his 1988 song railing against music being usurped for commercials, wasn't in the 50% he sold off.