Paul Simon Sells His Whole Songwriting Catalog to Sony

Paul Simon sold his entire songwriting catalog – including classics like “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “The Sound of Silence” and “Still Crazy After All These Years” – to Sony Music Publishing in the latest blockbuster deal in the music publishing business .

In its announcement of the deal on Wednesday, Sony disclosed few details other than that it acquired the “full collection” of Simon’s compositions, including his work with Simon and Garfunkel and his solo material.

In the database of BMI, the performing rights organization to which Simon is affiliated, more than 400 titles are listed under his name.

Simon’s catalog contains some of the most popular songs from the past half century. According to BMI, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – first published in 1970 by Simon and Garfunkel and since covered by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley – has shown more than five million programs.

Among the other songs in the collection are “The Boxer,” “Homeward Bound,” “I’m a Rock,” “Me and Julio Down in the Schoolyard,” “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” “Graceland” and “Mrs … Robinson “, which was featured prominently in the 1967 film” The Graduate “.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal with Simon, however, comes about as transactions for high-profile songwriting catalogs – including copyrights for compositions that are separate from the recordings – have been priced well in the nine-digit range, boosted in part by rising streaming revenue.

In December, Bob Dylan sold his 600-song catalog to Universal Music for more than $ 300 million. Neil Young sold half of his copyrights to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund at an estimated price of $ 150 million, and Stevie Nicks sold a majority of their rights in a deal where their catalog was valued at $ 100 million.

In a statement, Simon said he was delighted to have Sony “steward of my songs for decades to come,” adding, “I started my career at Columbia / Sony Records and it feels like a natural extension with to work that also the publishing side. “

Jon Platt, managing director of Sony Music Publishing, described Simon as “a masterful, one-off songwriter whose remarkable work has made a lasting impact on our culture and consciousness.”

The deal is important to Sony, whose publishing division – known until recently as Sony / ATV – is the largest in the industry, but has had several high profile flaws recently.

Sony manages Dylan’s catalog around the world and will lose that account when his contract expires in a few years. Last year Sony also lost Taylor Swift, who signed with the company as a teenager but went to Universal Music, where she also signed as a recording artist.