Scooter Braun says he 'regrets' how he handled music catalog battle with Taylor Swift

Scooter Braun
Scooter Braun touched on his public feud with Taylor Swift.Noam Galai/Getty Images
  • Music executive Scooter Braun appeared on NPR's "The Limits with Jay Williams" on Tuesday. 

  • Braun, 41, spoke about acquiring Taylor Swift's first six albums in June 2019. 

  • The acquisition caused a public feud between Swift and Braun, who says he "regrets" how it was handled. 

Scooter Braun regrets how he handled the acquisition of Taylor Swift's music catalog, which sparked intense backlash from both Swift and her legion of fans.

The music executive spoke about his public feud with Swift on NPR's "The Limits with Jay Williams" podcast on Tuesday. The feud began in 2019 when Braun's company Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Label Group, which gained the rights to Swift's first six albums.

Swift, 32, called the acquisition her "worst case scenario" in a Tumblr post, and fans rallied behind her on social media.

During the podcast, Braun, 41, admitted that he "learned an important lesson" from the ordeal.

Scooter Braun
Scooter Braun's company acquired Big Machine Label Group in 2019.TKTK

"I learned an important lesson from that, that I can never make that assumption again," Braun said. "I can't put myself in a place of, you know, arrogance to think that someone would just be willing to have a conversation and be excited to work with me. I don't know these people."

Braun added that he signed an NDA when he acquired Swift's music catalog and "wasn't allowed" to alert artists of the business deal.

"So when I did that deal that you're referring to with Big Machine, I was under a very strict NDA with the gentleman who owned it, and I couldn't tell any artist. I wasn't allowed to," Braun said.

He continued that "all hell broke loose" after it was finalized.

taylor swift reputation tour
Taylor Swift criticized Scooter Braun with a Tumblr post in 2019.Jun Sato/TAS18/Getty Images

"I was excited to work with every artist on the label. So when we finalized the deal, I started making phone calls to say, hey, I'm a part of this," he said. "And before I could even do that - I made four phone calls; I started to do those phone calls - all hell broke loose."

Braun said "things got lost in translation" and that he "regrets" how the acquisition was handled.

"I think that when you have a conflict with someone, it's very hard to resolve it if you're not willing to have a conversation," Braun said. "So the regret I have there is that I made the assumption that everyone, once the deal was done, was going to have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character and say, great, let's be in business together. And I made that assumption with people that I didn't know."

Representatives for Taylor Swift did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Following news of the acquisition, Swift posted a lengthy Tumblr post in which she accused Brain of" incessant, manipulative bullying."

"Some fun facts about today's news: I learned about Scooter Braun's purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I've received at his hands for years," Swift wrote.

She added: "Now Scooter has stripped me of my life's work, that I wasn't given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it."

Swift didn't offer any other statements regarding the acquisition at the time but liked angry tweets aimed at Braun. 

In June 2021, Braun responded to the initial drama by calling it "confusing" and said he offered Swift's catalog back to her, "but her team refused."

In November 2020, Braun's company sold the master rights to Swift's first six albums. Sources told Variety that Braun sold Swift's masters to an investment fund for $300 million. Following the acquisition and sale, Swift began rerecording her first six albums to release them on streaming sites.

So far, she's released "Fearless (Taylor's Version)" in April 2021 and "Red (Taylor's Version)" in November 2021. It's unclear when her four remaining albums, including the self-titled "Taylor Swift" and Speak Now," will be finished.

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