What is Scott Borchetta’s Net Worth?
Scott Borchetta is an American businessman who has a net worth of $200 million. Scott Borchetta is best known as the founder and CEO of Big Machine Records, the former label of singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Scott discovered Taylor when she was 15 years old and performing at a cafe in Nashville. Prior to founding Big Machine, he worked at the Nashville divisions of DreamWorks Records and MCA Records. In his race car driving career, Borchetta competes in the Trans-Am Series and owns the NASCAR Xfinity Series team Big Machine Racing.
Taylor Swift stayed with Big Machine until 2018 when she signed a long-term deal with Universal Music’s Republic records. In June 2019 Scott Borchetta reached a deal to sell Big Machine Records to talent manager Scooter Braun for $300 million through his holding company Ithaca Holdings LLC. The deal gave Ithaca Holdings the rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums as well as records by Sheryl Crow, Lady Antebellum, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line. At the time of the sale Big Machine was generating a reported $100 million per year in revenue and profits of roughly $40 million.
Scott Borchetta was born on July 3, 1962 in Burbank, California to Shari and Mike. His father worked as a promoter for several record labels in Los Angeles, including RCA Records, Capitol Records, and Mercury Records. When Borchetta was 16, he moved with his father to Nashville, Tennessee, where his father launched his own independent record promotion company.
In Nashville, Borchetta played bass in a country band and worked in the mail room of his father’s record promotion company. In 1985, he landed a job at MTM Records, where he remained for three years. After that, Borchetta worked as an independent promoter for two years. He went on to land jobs in promotion and artist development at MCA Records and DreamWorks Records.
Big Machine Records
In 2005, Borchetta left DreamWorks Records to found his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. He named the label after the song “Big Machine” by Velvet Revolver. The first artists signed to the label were Jack Ingram and Danielle Peck. Borchetta then signed Taylor Swift, who was 14 at the time. He had first met Swift in 2004 when he saw her perform at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, and offered to recruit her to his label once it was established. In 2006, Big Machine released Swift’s debut single, “Tim McGraw,” followed by her self-titled debut album. Swift went on to become the most commercially successful artist for the label, winning Grammy Awards for Album of the Year for 2008’s “Fearless” and 2014’s “1989.” Later, in 2021, Big Machine was sold to the South Korean music and entertainment firm Hybe Corporation, with Borchetta remaining the label’s CEO.
Big Machine Records has a number of subsidiary imprints. In late 2007, it launched the imprint Valory Music Co. Artists signed to the imprint included Jimmy Wayne, Jewel, Thomas Rhett, Justin Moore, and Reba McEntire. In 2009, Big Machine partnered with Universal Republic Records to create Republic Nashville, which was rebranded as BMLG Records after Big Machine took full ownership of the label. Its roster includes country artists Lady A, Brett Young, and Riley Green. In 2014, Big Machine announced the revival of the old label Dot Records, which it ran in partnership with Republic Records until Dot was shuttered in 2017. Big Machine’s other imprint was Nash Icon Music, which served as an offshoot of Cumulus Media’s Nash FM brand, focused on country acts of the 1990s and early 2000s. Nash Icon folded into Big Machine Records in 2018.
Taylor Swift Masters Dispute
In 2019, after having left Big Machine, Swift got into a major dispute with the label over the ownership of the masters of her first six studio albums. Scooter Braun had recently purchased Big Machine from Borchetta through Ithaca Holdings for $300 million, making him the owner of the label’s masters and music videos, including those of Swift. This caused great controversy, sparking widespread discussions around intellectual property, artists’ rights, and music industry ethics. In response to the heated dispute, Swift decided to re-record her first six studio albums in order to gain complete ownership over them.
Growing up in Southern California, Borchetta competed in motocross and quarter midget racing as a youth. Later, after working in the music industry, he returned to racing and started racing legend cars at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. In 1999, Borchetta transitioned to the NASCAR SuperTruck Weekly Series; he went on to win three consecutive championships from 2003 to 2005. He also raced in the Valvoline Cup Truck Series. While filming an episode of the television series “AmeriCarna” in 2014, Borchetta befriended NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham, who invited him to drive a 1972 Chevrolet Corvette in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association. Later, in 2020, Borchetta won the SVRA Group 6 national championship. The same year, he debuted in the Trans-Am Series TA2 class at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
In 2021, Borchetta and Big Machine Records launched Big Machine Racing, a professional stock car racing team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Jade Buford served as the driver for 32 of the team’s 33 races that year. In 2022, Borchetta fielded his car for a number of other drivers, including Marco Andretti, Austin Dillon, Tyler Reddick, and Nick Sanchez.
On television, Borchetta served as an in-house mentor on the 14th and 15th seasons of the singing competition series “American Idol.” In 2017, he partnered with the Canadian media company Bell Media to develop a new music competition series called “The Launch.” The show premiered on CTV in early 2018 and ran for two seasons.