Sony Music Entertainment has inked a deal to distribute 35 previously released Prince albums, the label and the late musician’s estate said Wednesday.
Terms of the deal, coming 26 months after Prince’s death, were not disclosed — but sources pegged its value at $20 million to $30 million.
The Sony deal does not include “Purple Rain,” Prince’s best-selling album, or any other soundtrack album.
The estate had signed a $31 million deal with Universal Music Group in February 2017 — but a court voided that deal.
“We’re looking forward to working with the heirs and Sony on giving fans what they’ve been waiting for — more great music from Prince,” Troy Carter, an adviser to the Prince estate, said.
Carter, who doubles as Spotify’s global head of creator services, was retained by the estate in April 2017 to sort out confusion over rights to the albums.
The new deal calls for the immediate distribution of 19 Prince titles originally released between 1995 and 2010 and gives Sony US rights for another 12 Prince non-soundtrack albums beginning in 2021.
Both “Purple Rain” and the popular soundtrack, “Under the Cherry Moon,” will stay with Warner Music Group for the life of the copyright.
From the consumer’s point of view, Sony’s taking over such responsibilities as stocking Prince albums in brick-and-mortar outlets and managing streaming rights will be invisible.