Taylor Swift’s Master Recordings Sell to Shamrock Capital for $300 Million
Swift’s Hits Change Ownership Again
Taylor Swift’s master recordings for her first six albums have sold to Shamrock Capital, a private equity firm, for $300 million. Shamrock is based in Los Angeles and was founded by Roy Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew.
This is the second time in a year and a half that the rights to hits like Love Story, Shake It Off, and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together have changed ownership. Swift says the deal was completed without her knowledge. After news of the acquisition broke, the singer announced on social media that she plans to re-record the songs on her new label. This would lessen the value of the masters Shamrock purchased.
Scooter Braun’s Return on His Investment
Shamrock’s acquisition of Swift’s recordings marks the latest development in a high-profile clash between the singer and Scooter Braun, a music manager. Last summer, Braun’s media holding company, Ithaca, acquired the entire Big Machine Label Group for just over $300 million.
The Nashville-based label signed Taylor Swift when she was a teenager. The company’s other artists include Rascal Flatts and Florida Georgia Line. With Braun selling just Taylor Swift’s music for $300 million, he is presumably making a significant return on the purchase, while still retaining the rights to the rest of Big Machine’s assets. Some industry veterans believe that the value of Swift’s assets could increase to $450 million, depending on certain earn-backs.
Swift was offered the opportunity to be a partner with Shamrock, but she did not accept because under the terms of the deal, Scooter Braun will still profit off of her music.
The Value of Music Rights Surges
Over the past several decades, the rise of streaming has completely changed the structure of the music industry. Though revenue for the music industry overall has surged thanks to streaming, much of this money is funneled to music rights holders, not artists.
Currently, investors are particularly eager to buy the rights to classic songs like Swift’s hits. This is because song rights provide a dependable revenue stream that is relatively unrelated to other economic events. This type of investment is particularly attractive during moments of economic uncertainty. The deal between Shamrock Capital and Ithaca, as well Taylor Swift’s reaction to the sale, have already made waves across the music industry. Fans and investors alike will be carefully watching Shamrock and Swift’s next moves.
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