Last year there was a shift in the Swiftiverse that rocked us to our core: Scooter Braun—a man best known for being named Scooter and, secondly, for birthing Justin Bieber—purchased Big Machine Label Group and all of its musical assets and artist contracts. Among those assets were the masters for Taylor Swift’s first six albums, some of her best work, the stuff that they’ll put in the Taylor Swift historical museum that I have been secretly trying to fund. It was a sad day for Swift, who promptly spun the entire ordeal into a women’s empowerment sermon on the evils of the music industry. The drama between Braun and Swift seemed to have settled after the release of Miss Americana, where Swift had originally wanted to include some of her older music without Braun getting a red cent, but alas, a new chapter has written itself.
According to Variety, Braun sold the rights to Swift’s masters to an unknown investor for what is “believed to be north of $300 million.” Braun purchased Big Machine for around the same price. Talk about a purchase paying for itself!
So what exactly does this mean for Swift who has, once again, lost the rights to make money off of songs she wrote when she was a teenager? A few things. First, it means that on her next album there will be a track all about Scooter Braun and the ways in which he is a snake in the grass. Of course, it won’t be obvious at first but on the second playback, the Swifties will know which one and will alert the general public to this information. It also means that Swift finds herself in the exact same spot as when Braun first acquired her masters. She still has the option to re-record all of her music and try to finagle royalties out of any replays or commercial use of the music, undermining the value of her own masters.
But let’s step into my wild world of Taylor Swift conspiracy theories for a moment, shall we? In 2019, Forbes reported that Swift made roughly $185 million. Since that point, she’s released a new album, released corresponding merch, partnered with Capital One for a second commercial, signed with a new label, and is likely planning a lucrative tour for her latest album once such a thing is allowed to happen safely. All this to say, she ain’t broke. It just so happens that neither Braun nor Swift have commented on the sale as of yet and the purchaser of the rights is unknown in an age where there is no such thing as unknown buyers.
Also as we all know, Taylor Swift plots her vengeance in silence and serves it up ice cold through back channels. The most well-known example of this being the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian/recorded call drama which Swift told us was staged once and then never mentioned it again until it was proven that she’d been telling the truth the whole time. And while Swift is free to re-record her old songs, she hasn’t mentioned that she’s done so or is in the process of doing so.
Did Taylor Swift somehow manage to covertly buy back her own masters under the guise of an English investment firm that she found out about through her English boyfriend? Maybe, maybe not, but all I’m saying is she’s had a lot of time to fester and she did write a song titled “invisible string.” Coincidence? That’s what she wants you to think.