Scott Borchetta hits back after Taylor Swift criticises Big Machine sale
In a post on Tumblr, Swift said she was “sad and grossed out” by the sale which sees Braun’s Ithaca Holdings take on the rights to Swift’s entire catalogue up to and including the Reputation album.
“When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them,” Swift said.
“Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter,” she continued, who Swift alleges is responsible for “incessant, manipulative bullying” towards her.
“I learnt about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world.”
Now, in a post titled ‘So It’s Time For Some Truth’, Borchetta has given his side of the story.
In the post, he revealed that Taylor’s dad Scott Swift, a shareholder in Big Machine Racords LLC, was part of an official shareholders call on June 25, in which he was made aware of the sale of Big Machine to Braun.
Borchetta also claims to have texted Swift ahead of the deal being announced.
“I guess it might somehow be possible that her dad Scott, 13 Management lawyer Jay Schaudies (who represented Scott Swift on the shareholder calls) or 13 Management executive and Big Machine LLC shareholder Frank Bell (who was on the shareholder calls) didn’t say anything to Taylor over the prior 5 days,” wrote Borchetta.
“But, I truly doubt that she “woke up to the news when everyone else did”.
Borchetta goes on to attach transcripts that he claims were from conversations between he and Swift. He remains adamant that the pair’s relationship was on “very good terms” during the negotiation of the deal.
“We are an independent record company. We do not have tens of thousands of artists and recordings. My offer to Taylor, for the size of our company, was extraordinary. But it was also all I could offer as I am responsible for dozens of artists’ careers and over 120 executives and their families.
“Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave.”
A copy of a text Swift sent to Borchetta, dated November 19 before she signed with UMG, is also attached.
In it, she writes: “Owning my masters was very important to me, but I’ve since realized that there are things that mean even more to me in the bigger picture.”
“I honestly truly cherish everything you and I have built together and I plan on saying so in my announcement of the new deal. What we accomplished together will be a lasting legacy and a case study on excellent partnerships, and may it continue.”
Borchetta then left a screenshot of the main points of the deal, and his full response can be viewed at bigmachinelabelgroup.com.
Following the public post, Borchetta addressed the future of Big Machine, confirming he will continue as president following its sale to Braun’s Ithaca Holdings.
Billboard has obtained a company email Borchetta sent to artists, songwriters, producers and partners.
In it, he lists some of the achievements of Big Machine Label Group, including reaching USD 65 million in sales, “changing the sound of Country Music in the 21st century”, and building the careers of “certified superstars Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, Brett Young and more”.
“When we started with three artists, 13 employees and a dream, it was about how do we create a new way to rock the music,” wrote Borchetta.
“Now, over 100 employees strong across the globe, international tv and film endeavors, various collaborative alliances and another crop of groundbreaking young acts about to launch, we have never been stronger or more integrated as a team or more able to fly.”