$300M for Masters – Is It Time To “Shake It Off” For Taylor Swift?

Recording Artist @taylorswift cannot seem to SHAKE IT OFF when it comes to ownership of her master recordings.

Quick Facts


▪️ At age 15, Taylor Swift signed a contract with record label Big Machine in 2004 granting ownership of the master recordings to her first six albums to the Record Label.
▪️ In 2019, @scooterbraun a record executive bought the Record Label @bigmachinelabelgroup including the ownership rights to most of Taylor Swift’s master recordings valued at $140M.
▪️ Just a year later, in 2020, Scooter Braun sold Taylor’s master recordings to Shamrock Capital for a crazy $300M+ (some estimate it to be at $450M with kickbacks).

Who Typically Owns Sound Recording Or Master Recordings Within The Music Industry?

Sound recording or the master recording (“master”) is typically owned by the the record label. Most record labels in the United States have a contract with the recording artist – the versions of the song

Why Would Taylor Swift Have A Record Label Own Her Master Recordings?

▪️ Early in their career, artists like Taylor Swift give up their master recording copyrights because they want to secure a record deal with the record label. It helps them with advance money. Record labels also invest into promising artists by taking monetary risks with them.

Why Can’t Taylor Swift Shake It Off?

Because…

▪️ Taylor Swift believes that all artists should own their music to freely play them without restrictions.
▪️ Taylor Swift has been unsuccessfully trying to “buy back” her master recordings from the Record Label for a while.
▪️ Scooter Braun used to be the manager of @kanyewest , who to no one surprise, has a questionable history with Taylor Swift (let’s just say she is not a fan of his).

What would you do if you were Taylor Swift? Shake it Off? Comment below.

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