News that Bob Dylan has opted to sell his publishing rights for around $300 million surprised many fans. However, it seems that the esteemed songwriter may have also received a $400 million offer.
Rolling Stone magazine reported on the story. They claim that sources close to the musician confirmed an even larger offer was made by Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs Fund.
Mercuriadis, when contacted, neither confirmed nor denied the rumor. He did state for the record that he has a deep admiration for Bob Dylan and the Beatles’ music.
The news story goes on to suggest that the decision to sell the rights for a smaller fee may have been influenced by Dylan’s trust of Universal Music, the eventual buyers.
As previously reported, Dylan is not the only classic-rocker who has sold his back catalog. Stevie Nicks also sold an 80% stake of her compositions. Based on the sources, it is estimated she received between $80 and $100 million.
Recently David Crosby of Crosby, Stills and Nash announced plans to do the same. The musician claims that lack of touring opportunities and dwindling album sales are the primary reasons for his decision.
Given the relative novelty of these kinds of business deals, it is difficult to estimate the implications of these. One of the few similar examples involved David Bowie. The late-singer once sold bonds on his songs. These allowed fans to directly profit from the performance of his previously released material. It is estimated that Bowie himself earned more than $55 million from this move back in 1997.