Scooter Braun learned lesson from Taylor Swift masters deal

Scooter Braun said he learned an “important lesson” from the dramatic turn of events that followed his acquisition of Taylor Swift’s master recordings.

The famed music executive appeared on NPR’s podcast “The Limits with Jay Williams” this week, admitting he came from a “place of arrogance” by assuming the “All Too Well” singer would speak to him about the deal.

“The regret I have there is that I made the assumption that everyone – once the deal was done – would have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character and say, ‘Great, let’s do business together. do’,” Braun, 41, shared, “and I made that assumption with people I didn’t know.

“And I learned an important lesson from that: that I can never make that assumption again. I can’t put myself in a place of, you know, arrogance to think that someone would just want to have a conversation and be excited to work with me,” he continued.

“I don’t know these people.”

Taylor Swift plays an acoustic guitar on stage.
“I can’t put myself in a place of, you know, arrogance to think someone would just want to have a conversation and be excited to work with me,” Braun said.
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Braun’s purchase of Swift’s back catalog in 2019 was the result of his company Ithaca Holdings’ acquisition of Big Machine Records, the label Swift discovered in 2005. (She’s with Universal Music Group now.) At the time, a source told Vidak For Congress that the “Style” singer had the chance to buy back her masters, but “walked away” from the opportunity.

However, Swift declined the acquisition and denied having had the opportunity to buy back her music. Scott Borchetta, the former head of Big Machine, then shot down Swift’s claims with apparent screenshots of text messages with the pop star discussing the deal.

“What I Told” [Borchetta] was, “Hey, if any of the artists want to come back and buy this, let me know,” Braun recalled Williams. And he shared with me a letter that is in public that, you know, the artist you refer to said, ‘I don’t want to participate in my masters. I’ve decided, you know, not to make this deal, blah, blah, blah.’ So that was the idea I was under.”

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Braun acquired Big Machine Records in 2019.


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Braun acquired Big Machine Records in 2019.

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Braun recalled calling several artists to introduce himself, but immediately got a backlash.

“I made four phone calls; I started making those calls – all hell broke loose,” he said. “So I think a lot of things got lost in the translation. I think if you have a conflict with someone it is very difficult to resolve it if you are not willing to have a conversation.”

Braun, who recently divorced, said he “didn’t appreciate” how the deal with Swift, 32, fell through, but realized she “probably also felt it was unfair”.

“So I choose to see it as a learning lesson, a growing lesson, and I wish everyone involved the best,” he said. “And I’m rooting for everyone to win because I don’t believe in people who lose.”

Since Braun’s acquisition of Swift’s Masters, which he sold for more than $300 million in 2020, the “Love Story” singer has re-recorded her first six albums. She has already released “Fearless” and “Red”.

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