Monday afternoon, reports emerged that Scooter Braun had sold her Big Machine-era masters to an unidentified investment firm. Braun and his Ithaca Holdings firm, as has been well-documented, secured ownership of the masters as part of their purchase of Big Machine last year.
As they began commenting on the re-sale story, fans expressed hope that the new buyer was Swift herself.
Based on a Monday evening Tweet from Swift, that is not the case. The artist admits that she attempted to enter into negotiations with Braun and Ithaca Holdings, but talks died very early in the process. According to Swift, Braun’s team would not even share the Big Machine financial records until she signed a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting her from ever speaking negatively of the music industry mogul. Based on that demand, and the fact that Braun’s team “would never even quote my team a price,” Swift came to the conclusion that “these master recordings were not for sale to me.”
They were, however, apparently for sale to another party. Swift notes that she received a letter from “Shamrock Holdings” (seemingly a predecessor to Shamrock Capital, which has been making large entertainment-industry investments) confirming that they had “bought 100% of [her] music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun.” Shamrock reached out via a letter after the deal had closed, explaining that the terms of their agreement prohibited them from making contact prior. “This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge,” declared Swift.
During the correspondence with Shamrock, Swift says she learned that Braun would continue to profit off her old catalogue for many years. Unwilling to directly contribute financially to Braun (“Scooter’s participation is a non-starter for me”), Swift had to decline Shamrock’s invitation to partner.
Instead, Swift will be moving forward with her plans to record (and release) new versions of her Big Machine-era music.
“I have recently begun re-recording my older music, and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” says Swift. “I have plenty of surprises in store.”
Swift’s Tweet, which includes a piece of her correspondence with Shamrock, follows. Braun has yet to offer a public coment.
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020