Taylor Swift has responded to news of the sale of her catalog by Scooter Braun to a private equity company, saying she spurned the firm’s hopes of working together when she learned Braun would still profit from her work, and announcing she had already undertaken the long-promised re-recording of her entire Big Machine catalog.
Swift also said that Braun’s reps had let her know the catalog was for sale, but was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement to never again disparage Braun before she would be allowed to even examine Big Machine’s financial books or make an offer.
The singer wrote in a statement published on Twitter that “my team attempted to enter into negotiations with Scooter Braun. Scooter’s team wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG (which is always the first step in a purchase of this nature). So, I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work.”
She said negotiations never got underway, because of the strict NDA demands. “He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me,” she concluded.
Swift said she was alerted about the sale by the purchasing company only after the deal had already gone down.
“A few weeks ago my team received a letter from a private equity company called Shamrock Holdings, letting us know that they had bought 100% of my music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun,” she wrote. “This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge. The letter told me that they wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off.”
She says the company reached out to her in hopes of working together on her catalog, but then revealed that Braun would continue to benefit from her music under the terms of the deal that had been made. “I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter’s participation is a non-starter for me.”
Addressing her fans, Swift wrote, “I have recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling. I have plenty of surprises in store.”
Swift also attached to her tweet a copy of the letter she sent to Shamrock Holdings, dated Oct. 28, responding to their offer of participation with the news that she would never be in business with a company that was still in business with Braun.
“I feel the need to be very transparent with you,” she wrote Shamrock. “I will be going forward with my original re-recording schedule and will be embarking on that effort soon. I know this will diminish the value of my old masters, but I hope you will understand that this is my only way of regaining the sense of pride I once had when hearing songs from my first six albums and also allowing my fans to listen to those albums without feelings of guilt for benefitting Scooter.”
Shamrock has issued a response to Swift. “Taylor Swift is a transcendent artist with a timeless catalog,” the firm said in a statement. “We made this investment because we believe in the immense value and opportunity that comes with her work. We fully respect and support her decision and, while we hoped to formally partner, we also knew this was a possible outcome that we considered. We appreciate Taylor’s open communication and professionalism with us these last few weeks. We hope to partner with her in new ways moving forward and remain committed to investing with artists in their work.”