Inside ‘Tidal Wave’ of Song Catalog Sales: Why Neil Young, Bob Dylan and More Are Cashing in

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“People are almost treating catalogs like they would treat bonds,” lawyer James Sammataro says

Music Catalogs Bob Dylan Stevie Nicks Neil Young

More than 30 years after Neil Young sang, “Ain’t singing for Pepsi, ain’t singing for Coke / I don’t sing for nobody, makes me look like a joke,” the iconic songwriter sold a 50% stake of his complete catalog of some 1,180 songs, opening the door for his music to be licensed in ways beyond his control. What seemed unthinkable not just for a political folk icon like Young but for many rock stars has now become a trend. In recent weeks, artists like Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, Jimmy Iovine and even Bob Dylan have cashed in what many songwriters consider their most prized possessions.


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