Music mogul Scooter Braun, who infamously started a war with pop icon Taylor Swift by purchasing the rights to her first six albums roughly a year and a half ago, has just made a small fortune unloading her catalog in a multimillion-dollar deal.
As first reported by Variety, Braun sold the master rights to an unnamed investment firm. The deal is believed to be north of $300 million and closed in the last two weeks.
Braun's acquisition of Swift's catalog came through a deal via his Ithaca Holdings LLC, which acquired Big Machine Label Group and all of its recorded music assets. Since Swift was an artist on that label all the way up to 2018, when she was released from her contract, that meant her earlier releases went under Braun's control.
Swift was subsequently outraged at that deal, stating that she considered Braun a personal enemy and that she was completely blindsided by the transaction, which placed her creative output in the hands of someone she despises. She also fired off in fury at the founder of her former label group, Scott Borchetta, who signed her to his then-fledgling label when she was just 14 years old. Both men made attempts to discuss their decisions with her, but she was not interested in rebuilding any bridges.
The singer hasn't publicly made any statement yet regarding the latest juggling about her work, but she does have certain elements in her favor. The deal allows her, as of this month, to re-record songs from her first five Big Machine-issued albums, which she will most likely do in order to divert earnings from the new buyer. For some artists it might be a hard task to sell re-recordings of past work, but Swift's extraordinarily loyal fan army will undoubtedly do their best to support her endeavors. Swift can also market her re-recorded versions for commercial use.
Still, the sale of the masters created irate chatter among fans on social media targeting what they perceived as Braun's greed, as well as thoughts from fellow musicians, including Sara Bareilles, who called the sale "robbery."
Braun and Borchetta remain in control of the rest of the Big Machine Label Group holdings, which includes artists Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Lady A, the trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum.