For a number of reasons, late 2020 may be the absolute optimal moment to sell a top-tier music catalog, and Bob Dylan’s catalog is arguably on a tier of its own near the very top. Universal Music Group recently announced that it had bought Dylan’s catalog of some 600 songs; while UMG didn’t disclose the price, speculation in the industry hovers around $300m.
Bottom line: The tax on a deal like Dylan’s could almost double if it doesn’t get done by New Year’s Eve. “I have a number of clients who were trying to do deals before the first of the year because they had fear of the new administration pushing its tax agenda,” says Josh Escovedo, a lawyer whose specialties at the Weintraub Tobin law firm include copyright and trademark issues. “It’s quite possible” that those considerations could have influenced Dylan’s deal, he notes.