Scooter Braun Reportedly Thought Taylor Swift Was Bluffing About Re-Recording Her Albums
According to a new report from Financial Times, the SB Projects Founder believed that the "Lover" singer was just bluffing about re-recording and re-releasing her early music after losing her masters.
After purchasing Swift's former record label, Big Machine, under Ithaca Holdings in 2019, Braun began to search for buyers for the masters of the singer's first six albums. Braun and investors allegedly told potential buyers that Swift wouldn't actually re-record the albums like she said she would, and that her promise was most likely an empty threat.
According to the report, Braun and his team supposedly told potential buyers that Swift's threat would only generate publicity and boost streaming and downloads. Braun's explanation sounded reasonable to investors who didn't believe the artist would take the time to re-record her past work out of spite.
Three people who were approached to purchase the masters confirmed to the outlet that such a conversation took place. “The message was: the controversy has been great for us. Every time she lights us up online, people go listen to those songs," one of the sources said.
In 2020, investment firm Shamrock Capital purchased the rights to Swift's first six albums for a whopping $300 million. Financial Times reports that the deal also included a post-purchase earnout to Braun and Carlyle Group (who helped fund Braun's purchase of Big Machine), if sales and streams hit specific targets.
However, Swift didn't back down. She re-recorded her 2008 album Fearless and released it on April 9, 2021. She is due to release her second re-recorded album, Red: Taylor's Version, on Nov. 12.
Now, investors including Shamrock Capital, Braun and Carlyle Group are allegedly worried that they won't hit previously intended targets with Swift's original recordings as her new recordings will likely undercut their goals.
“To extract maximum value from music assets you absolutely need, if not co-operation from the artist, you at least need them to not be actively angry,” a fund manager who passed on the purchase of Swift's masters said.