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Taylor Swift, Scooter Braun Saga Takes Another $300M Turn

Taylor Swift, Scooter Braun Saga Takes Another $300M Turn

The saga involving pop star Taylor Swift and the ownership of her music library took another turn this week when music mogul Scooter Braun sold Swift’s catalogue to private equity firm Shamrock Holdings for more than $300 million.

What Happened: Last year, Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Swift’s former record label Big Machine for around $300 million. As part of the deal, Ithaca acquired the rights to Swift’s first six albums.

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Swift opposed the deal and has spent the past year unsuccessfully trying to buy back her music rights. Swift was reportedly initially in favor of the sale to Shamrock, but said on Twitter and Instagram on Monday that the deal is a “non-starter” for her. Braun and Ithaca will continue to profit from the catalogue for years down the road.

Why It’s Important: Swift, who has a long history of public feuds with ex-boyfriends and other celebrities, has publicly criticized Braun since he acquired her library in 2019. Swift has called Braun a “bully” and said he is “the definition of toxic male privilege in our industry.”

Master music recordings generate revenue for their owners every time songs are streamed, purchased, sampled, broadcast or used in TV, movies and commercials. In addition, they have become hot investments on Wall Street in recent years for funds like Shamrock.

Universal Music’s catalogue was valued at $46.2 billion last year, up from just $7.7 billion when it was last sold in 2013.

Swift is reportedly planning on re-recording her old songs, which she acknowledges will “diminish the value” of her catalogue.

Benzinga’s Take: As unhappy with the deal as Swift seems to be, it seems there is little she can do to change the situation. Music contracts have long been a source of controversy within the industry, with industry insiders often being accused of financially preying on up-and-coming artists.

Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia


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