Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun: Who is harassing whom?

IIn this case, the word “bullying” is perhaps best translated as “bullying”. This man had manipulatively bullied her. For years. The US singer Taylor Swift accused on Sunday on the social media service tumblr. It was about a man named Scooter Braun and the story is a little more complicated. Braun, 38, is an entrepreneur, talent manager, investor, and Justin Bieber’s manager.

He also worked with Kanye West. And West once rapped in one of his songs that he had made Taylor Swift, the “bitch”, famous. In the accompanying music video, a lot of people are lying naked in bed, Donald Trump, for example, or Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

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After Swift expressed her discomfort about it, Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian suddenly came around the corner with what appeared to be a randomly taped phone call in which Swift agreed to the verse. Justin Bieber then published a photo of himself and Braun and Kanye West and that too was chicane, Swift wrote. And somehow Braun is supposed to be responsible for all of that.

That sounds like an opaque and classic kindergarten situation, to which one should not pay too much attention, because it might then resolve itself if it weren’t for the distribution of power and resources and the old question of whether actually owned by artist himself.

How powerful is Swift?

Because the reason for Swift’s post was the Wall Street Journal report on Sunday that the Big Machine Label Group was sold. Namely to the company of Scooter Braun. Taylor Swift released her first six albums with this music publisher, and when she was 15 she signed the contract. Their music, it is read, makes up 35 percent of Big Machine’s market share.

Only: it’s actually not quite their music, because the label still owns the rights to the recordings. And while she signed it that way, and even if it’s a common deal in the music business, Swift is complaining about it now, and that’s interesting because she’s given greater power in the music market.

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She is not only considered a good business woman, a powerful advertising brand with a pure image, but also a critic of contractual practices. For example, in 2014 she did not release her music for the Spotify streaming platform to protest against free playback because it was financed by advertising and to show that artists earn too little on the streaming market.

In 2018 she negotiated her new record deal with Republic Records and Universal Music Group and reports on details from this deal stylized her as a fighter for the rights of all musicians. Because she not only successfully demanded to keep the rights to her recordings, but also that all Universal artists benefit from the proceeds from the sale of Spotify shares.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: Honorary Event Co-Chair Scooter Braun speaks onstage during the Pencils of Promise 10th Anniversary Gala at the Duggal Greenhouse on October 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Pencils Of Promise )

Who is harassing whom here? Scooter Braun at a gala last fall

Quelle: Getty Images for Pencils Of Promise

In the last few days after the public dispute, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna Scooter Braun unfollowed Braun on Instagram, one of the highest sentences in social media houses and Justin Bieber wrote a letter, which he published under a picture of himself and Taylor when the two were almost still Children were. In it, he accuses Taylor of bullying Scooter Braun here and emphasizes that he and his manager would love her. Braun’s wife also spoke out publicly and accused Swift of lying.

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It’s understandable that it’s uncomfortable when someone you don’t like owns your recordings, but that Braun buys a company for an estimated $ 300 million just to bully Swift sounds rather implausible. Swift accuses former label boss Scott Borchetta of disloyalty in her blog post, but can an artist decide who her former label is sold to?

Exhibition fight with an unclear outcome

Borchetta seems at least concerned, because he too got involved in the public mud fight and published details of contract negotiations between Swift’s team and his former label, as well as personal messages that he and Swift exchanged, which make their portrayal of the circumstances seem unbelievable. It is said that Swift’s team knew about the sale beforehand, partly because their father owns a four percent stake in the company. She herself claims to have heard of the sale from the news.

Fortunately, Swift doesn’t have to worry about existential issues, she earns a lot with advertising, concerts and also with music. She probably has so much money that she could have bought the company herself. That would have been the stronger Powermove. In the meantime, users on social media take the side of Swift, as well as the side of Braun. At least that is unlikely to be of much use to future artists for their contract negotiations. So it remains an exhibition match with an unclear outcome. Serving only for entertainment and attention.