Scooter Braun Shares Regret About Taylor Swift Deal
Scott “Scooter” Braun has said he has one regret about his acquisition of Taylor Swift’s music catalogue in 2019.
“The regret I have there is that I made the assumption that everyone, once the deal was done, was going to have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character and say, ‘Great, let's be in business together,’” he said during an appearance on The Limit podcast. “I made that assumption with people that I didn't know.”
Braun, who didn’t mentioned Swift by name, said he learned an “important lesson” from his company’s purchase of Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), which held the rights to Swift’s early albums.
“I can't put myself in a place of, you know, arrogance to think that someone would just be willing to have a conversation and be excited to work with me,” he said.
(In 2020, Braun sold the rights to Swift’s masters to Shamrock Holdings, a private company owned by the estate of Roy E. Disney, the son of Disney co-founder Roy O. Disney.)
Braun explained that a non-disclosure agreement prevented him from letting artists like Swift know that he was buying the label. He said he told BMLG owner Scott Borchetta: “Hey, if any of the artists want to come back and buy into this, you have to let me know.”
Braun recalled: “He shared a letter with me that's out there publicly that the artist you're referring to said, 'I don't want to participate in my masters.’”
Scooter Braun: iHeartRadio.ca Music News Coverage
When the deal was made public, Swift wrote on Tumblr that she learned of Braun’s acquisition of BMLG “as it was announced to the world” and said she was “sad and grossed out” that he owned the rights to her first six albums.
Swift has been re-recording these albums.
Months after the acquisition was announced, Braun addressed Swift’s criticism. “You can’t make everyone like you. You can’t get all the facts straight. But I think the only thing you can do is hope for communication,” he said, during a Q&A at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference in Los Angeles.
“When there’s a lot of things being said and a lot of different opinions, yet the principals haven’t had a chance to speak to each other, there’s a lot of confusion,” he said.
On the podcast, Braun acknowledged: “In any conflict, you can say, ‘I didn't do anything. It's their fault.’ And you could be right. You could be justified. And you could say, ‘This is unfair, I'm being treated unfairly,’” he said. “Or you can say, ‘Okay, I'm being treated unfairly. I don't like how this is feeling. I can't fix this, so how am I going to look at it and learn from it?’
“I didn't appreciate how that all went down. I thought it was unfair,” he said. “But I also understand, from the other side, they probably felt it was unfair, too.”
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