Big Machine Records
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
|Big Machine Records|
|Parent company||Big Machine Label Group|
|Founded||September 1, 2004|
|Distributor(s)||Universal Music Group|
|Country of origin||United States|
Big Machine Records is an American independent record label, which is distributed by Universal Music Group and specializes in country and pop artists. Big Machine is based on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee. The label was founded in September 2005 by former DreamWorks Records executive Scott Borchetta and became a joint venture between Borchetta and country singer Toby Keith. The company concentrates on publishing, management, and merchandising and oversees imprints, such as Valory Music, that are part of the Big Machine Label Group.
Big Machine Records was founded by Scott Borchetta, a former punk rock bass guitar player who had worked in the mailroom of his father Mike's music company and eventually became a promotions staff member in 1991 for Universal Music Group's MCA Records. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Borchetta was an "involved manager" at MCA, "choosing singles and dispensing advice." After he was fired from MCA in 1997, Borchetta accepted a role at the Nashville division of DreamWorks Records, but later decided to start his own label after Universal acquired the division. Before he left DreamWorks, Borchetta approached Taylor Swift and her family after the musician performed at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee after first meeting her in 2004. At the time, Borchetta had no infrastructure or financing. He made an offer to Swift and her parents, whereby he would recruit her to the new label's roster after it was established. Swift eventually recontacted Borchetta around two weeks later, telling him: "I'm waiting for you."
He formed the label in 2005, naming it "Big Machine" after a 2004 song by the band Velvet Revolver. Soon after he released Swift's first ever recording, the single "Tim McGraw" and her debut album Taylor Swift. Keith dropped his affiliation with the label in 2006, but he was reported as an equity holder in November 2014, alongside the Swift family and Borchetta (the latter reportedly owned 60 percent of the business at the time). In October 2012, Borchetta told Rolling Stone magazine: "[Taylor Swift's father] Scott Swift owns three percent of Big Machine."
In February 2010, Swift won four Grammys—including Album of the Year (Fearless), Best Country Album (Fearless), Best Country Song ("White Horse"), and Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("White Horse")—becoming the first Big Machine artist to win a Grammy Award.
Borchetta signed a deal with Clear Channel—which later changed its name to iHeartMedia—in 2012 that ensures payment for Big Machine artists from terrestrial and digital radio airplay. Three years after the deal was signed, Borchetta said that the revenue streams were "very meaningful."
In response to a claim that Borchetta was seeking a sum of US$200 million for Big Machine since the release of Swift's fifth studio album 1989, the label head refuted the claim in November 2014: "Every time we have a Taylor [Swift] record, they're like, 'Oh, he's selling the company.'" However, Borchetta did not rule out a future change of ownership, stating that "the business is changing so quickly, and if I see a strategic opportunity that's going to be better for our artists and executives, it's going to be a serious conversation." Following the release of 1989, her Big Machine contract required her to produce one more full-length album for the label.
The Zac Brown Band announced on January 12, 2015, that it had finalized a four-way strategic partnership involving the Southern Ground Artists record label, Big Machine Label Group, Republic Records and John Varvatos Records for the release of its fourth studio album. The terms of the deal state that Zac Brown Band will work with Big Machine Label Group for marketing and distribution, while Southern Ground Artists will work on radio promotion, Republic will provide support in the area of non-country radio formats and international promotion, and Varvatos will oversee branding and styling. Borchetta was quoted in the Big Machine press release as saying that there is "literally no ceiling" to what can be achieved by the new partnership, and also spoke of "moments when our best artists hit a global stride and a deeper sense of engagement that speaks a clearer musical language".
In a February 2015 interview, Borchetta refused to comment on the status of the label's distribution deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), which was up for renegotiation at the time. He confirmed that the label would release the next American Idol album, in partnership with 19 Entertainment and UMG—Borchetta would be one of the mentors on the reality program's next series. Borchetta also disclosed that Swift agreed to the withdrawal of her catalog from Spotify after he first suggested the idea to her, and that he would remove the music of all Big Machine artists if it was within his power.
In May 2017, the label branched out into the alcoholic beverage industry by launching Big Machine Vodka, a premium brand distilled in Lynnville, Tennessee. Borchetta described the new venture as "perfectly [complementing] the music we take such great pride in".
In November 2017, Swift released her sixth studio album Reputation, her last album released under Big Machine. After this album, Swift refused to renew her contract with the label. She eventually stayed in Universal Music Group, Big Machine's distributor, and on November 19, 2018, after her contract with Big Machine expired, Swift signed with Republic Records, under a deal in which she would maintain ownership of her masters going forward.
On November 3, 2014, Swift removed all but one of her songs from Spotify after indications of her disapproval of the streaming service emerged in July of the same year. Swift, statistically one of the world's most popular music artists at the time, had previously delayed the streaming of her 2012 album, Red.
Big Machine country music artists Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert removed their music from Spotify on November 12, 2014. Like Swift, both artists allowed a single song to remain on the streaming platform.
After Swift and Big Machine withdrew her catalog from Spotify in November 2014, the streaming service launched a social media campaign to persuade Swift to return and, in a statement on its website, claimed that 16 million of over 40 million users had played her music in the preceding 30-day period.
In mid-November, Borchetta disputed figures released by Spotify that claimed that Swift would receive US$6 million annually from the streaming site—Borchetta said in a Time magazine interview that Swift was paid a total of US$500,000 over the previous 12 months. Spotify responded to Borchetta, by clarifying that Swift had been paid US$2 million for global streaming over the year-long time frame. Spotify further explained: "We [Spotify] paid Taylor [Swift]'s label and publisher roughly half a million dollars in the month before she took her catalog down". According to Borchetta, the amount Swift earned from streaming her music videos on the Vevo site was greater than the payout she received from Spotify.
Borchetta then clarified in a February 2015 interview that Swift's catalog would be permitted on a streaming service "that understands the different needs that we [Swift and Big Machine] have," whereby "the choice to be [on the free, ad-supported tier] or not" is provided. Borchetta argued that Swift's musical oeuvre is "arguably the most important current catalog there is" and stated that the streaming issue is "about each individual artist, and the real mission here is to bring ... attention to it."
Taylor Swift's catalog returned to Spotify in June 2017.
Acquisition by Ithaca Holdings
In October 2018, Big Machine was placed for sale, with bids from Macquarie Group, Evan Spiegel and Universal Music Group. Big Machine was valued at $300 million. On June 30, 2019, Billboard reported that Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings had purchased Big Machine Records for $300 million, with funding from Carlyle Group. A few hours after the announcement of the purchase, Taylor Swift wrote on Tumblr that she was unaware of the buyer of the masters of the her first six albums. Later that night, Scott Borchetta revealed through the Big Machine Label Group website of his and Swift's conversation regarding the purchase.
A copyright issue arose later in the year just ahead of Swift's American Music Awards' Artist of the Decade performance when Swift tweeted regarding Big Machine's prohibition on the use of her old music. On August 22, 2019, Swift announced on Good Morning America that she would rerecord her first six albums in November 2020 and release them through Republic Records. On February 11, 2021, Swift announced that the first rerecordings, "Love Story (Taylor's Version)", would be released the following day at midnight, followed by the Fearless (Taylor's Version) on April 9. On November 16, 2020, Variety reported that Big Machine had sold the rights to Taylor Swift's first six albums to Shamrock Holdings. Swift stated that she had not been contacted about the sale.
Acquisition by Hybe Corporation
On April 2, 2021, it was announced that Ithaca Holdings, including Big Machine, would be sold to the South Korean music and entertainment firm Hybe Corporation (formerly Big Hit Entertainment). Borchetta will remain CEO of Big Machine.
Limited liability company
|Industry||Music & entertainment|
|Founded||September 1, 2005|
|Scott Borchetta, (CEO)|
Sandi Spika Borchetta, (VP Creative Services)
Andrew Kautz, General Manager
Taylor Swift, the first signed artist
|Divisions||Big Machine Records|
Valory Music Co.
In November 2007, Big Machine Records founded a subsidiary imprint called Valory Music Co. Acts signed to this roster include Jimmy Wayne (who was formerly signed to Big Machine), Jewel, The Mavericks, Thomas Rhett, and Justin Moore.
By the end of November 2008, the Valory imprint entered into a partnership with Midas Records—promotion, sales, marketing, production, publicity and distribution—for Canadian acts Adam Gregory and Emerson Drive. The announcement that Reba McEntire would join Valory was also publicized in November 2008. McEntire's debut single on Valory was scheduled for 2009, with her new studio album scheduled for mid-2009.
Big Machine joined with Universal Republic Records in June 2009 to found a new label, Republic Nashville. In August 2016, Republic Nashville was rebranded as BMLG Records after Big Machine took back full ownership of the label.
In March 2014, Big Machine announced the revival of Dot Records and, as of February 2015, the imprint was run in partnership with Republic Records. Dot was shuttered in March 2017 and a number of its artists moved to other Big Machine imprints.
Nash Icon Records
In 2014, Big Machine announced a partnership with Cumulus Media to create Nash Icon Music, a Big Machine imprint serving as an offshoot of Cumulus's Nash FM brand, focusing on active country acts who achieved mainstream fame in the 1990s and early 2000s. Cumulus also operates Nash Icon-branded radio stations with a similar focus.
On October 21, 2014, it was announced that McEntire would be the first artist signed to Nash Icon Music. Nash Icon Records folded into Big Machine Records in 2018.
Big Machine Records roster
Current country artists
- Danielle Bradbery (returned to Big Machine in 2020)
- The Cadillac Three
- Callista Clark
- Jay DeMarcus
- Jackson Dean
- Brock Gonyea
- Ray Wylie Hubbard
- Gary LeVox
- Tim McGraw
- Carly Pearce
- Noah Schnacky
Former country artists
- Tucker Beathard
- Garth Brooks (Big Machine/Pearl)
- Dusty Drake
- Edens Edge
- Adam Gregory (Big Machine/Midas/Open Road)
- Trent Harmon
- Rascal Flatts
- Jack Ingram
- Lauren Jenkins
- Kate & Kacey
- Reba McEntire
- Danielle Peck
- Melissa Peterman (Comedy Artist)
- Dan Smalley
- Payton Smith
- Steel Magnolia
- Jennifer Nettles
- Sunny Sweeney (moved to Republic)
- Taylor Swift
- Waterloo Revival
- Jimmy Wayne (moved to Valory)
- Trisha Yearwood
Former Nash Icon Records artists
BMLG Records roster
- Laci Kaye Booth (19 Recordings/BMLG Records)
- Florida Georgia Line
- Riley Green
- Lady A
- Brett Young
- Danielle Bradbery (moved back to Big Machine in 2020)
- The Band Perry
- Greg Bates
- Eli Young Band (moved to Valory)
- Fast Ryde
- Ryan Follese
- Jaron and the Long Road to Love
- Jackie Lee
- Martina McBride (moved to Nash Icon)
- Cassadee Pope
- Dallas Smith
- Sunny Sweeney
- A Thousand Horses
- Drake White
Former Dot Records artists
Valory Music Co. roster
- Abbey Cone
- Avenue Beat
- Sheryl Crow
- Eli Young Band
- Brantley Gilbert
- Aaron Lewis
- Justin Moore
- Thomas Rhett
- Tyler Rich
- Heath Sanders
- Conner Smith
Big Machine/John Varvatos Records
- Badflower (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records)
- John 5 
- Ayron Jones (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records)
- Violet Saturn
Former pop artists
- Ivory Blue (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records)
- MacKenzie Bourg
- Cheap Trick
- Nick Fradiani
- Friday Pilots Club (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records)
- Gunnar Gehl
- Laura Marano
- Pretty Vicious (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records)
- La'Porsha Renae (Big Machine/Motown Records)
- The Static Shift (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records)
- Who Is Fancy
- Caulfiend, Keith; Tucker, Ken (November 10, 2007). "Valory Unveiled". Billboard. 119 (45): 8.
- Stark, Phyllis (March 11, 2006). "The Honeymoon's Hardly Over, but Show Dog and Big Machine split". Billboard.
- Devin Leonard (November 12, 2014). "Taylor Swift Is the Music Industry". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Willman, Chris (October 26, 2015). "Big Machine's Scott Borchetta on Taylor Swift, the Fight Against Free and Remaining 'Bold and Disruptive' on 10-Year Anniversary". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
- Brian Hiatt (October 25, 2012). "Taylor Swift in Wonderland". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Edward Morris (March 3, 2009). "Country Rosters Remain Stable Despite Sales Downturn". CMT News. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Melinda Newman (February 5, 2015). "Taylor Swift's Label Boss on Her Future, His Spotify Showdown and 'American Idol'". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- Nate Rau (January 12, 2015). "Zac Brown Band aligns with Big Machine". The Tennessean. The Tennessean. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- "Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Launches Vodka Brand". Billboard. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
- Wang, Amy X. (November 19, 2018). "Taylor Swift's New Record Deal Affects Thousands of Other Musicians". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- Willman, Chris (August 27, 2018). "Taylor Swift Stands to Make Music Business History as a Free Agent". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
- Aswad, Jem; Willman, Chris (November 19, 2018). "Taylor Swift Signs New Deal With Universal Music Group". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Jack Linshi (November 3, 2014). "Here's Why Taylor Swift Pulled Her Music From Spotify". Time. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- "Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert pull music from Spotify". Toronto Sun. November 12, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- Brian Mansfield (November 4, 2014). "Taylor Swift says goodbye to Spotify". USA Today. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- "Spotify says it paid Taylor Swift millions. Her label disagrees. Here's the truth". The Verge. November 13, 2014.
- "Taylor Swift returning her music to Spotify". USA TODAY.
- "Universal Is Only Major Label Left in Running to Buy Taylor Swift's Big Machine Label Group, as Bids Top $300M". Billboard. October 30, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
- "Scooter Braun Acquires Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group, Taylor Swift Catalog For Over $300 Million". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- "Taylor Swift". Taylor Swift. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- "So, It's Time For Some Truth ..." Big Machine Label Group. June 30, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Adler, Dan (November 22, 2019). "Just in Time: Scooter Braun Breaks His Silence on Taylor Swift Ahead of the American Music Awards". Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
- Moreau, Jordan (November 25, 2020). "Taylor Swift Reveals Which Song She's Most Excited to Re-Record". Variety. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
- "Scooter Braun Sells Taylor Swift's Big Machine Masters for Big Payday". November 16, 2020.
- "Taylor Swift Responds to Scooter Braun Selling Her Masters, Confirms She's Re-Recording Her First Albums". November 16, 2020.
- Halperin, Shirley; Frater, Patrick (April 2, 2021). "HYBE, Formerly Big Hit Entertainment, Merges With Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings Bringing Together BTS, Justin Bieber, Big Machine (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Ingham, Tim (April 2, 2021). "Scooter Braun Sells Ithaca Holdings To Hybe, Formerly Known As Big Hit Entertainment". Music Business Worldwide. Archived from the original on April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- "Big Machine starts new label, signs Jewel, Jimmy Wayne, Justin Moore". Country Standard Time. November 2, 2007. Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- "On Music Row: Valory takes Emerson Drive in tow". The City Paper. September 15, 2008. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Ken Tucker (November 11, 2008). "Reba McEntire Signs With Valory Music". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- "New Nashville label starts with Sunny Sweeney aboard". Country Standard Time. June 5, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
- Rau, Nate (March 24, 2014). "Big Machine resurrects Dot Records name". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- "Oldies 98.9 becomes older-skewing country NASH Icon 98.9". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Media Group. August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- "Nash Icons launches across the country". Radio Insight. August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- "Reba McEntire Becomes Nash Icon Music Label's Inaugural Signing". Billboard.com. October 21, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- "Big Machine Records – Artists". Big Machine Records. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "10 New Country Artists You Need To Know". Rolling Stone. July 1, 2016.
- "Melissa Peterman Signs to Big Machine Records". CMT.com. February 23, 2010.
- "Laci Kaye Booth Signs With BMLG Records And 19 Recordings". September 2, 2020.
- "Republic Nashville – Artists". Republic Nashville. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "Lady Antebellum Signs with Big Machine". September 4, 2018.
- "BREAKING: Lady Antebellum Changes Band Name". June 11, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
- "Big Machine Label Group Signs Brett Young". Big Machine Records. August 21, 2015. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "The Band Perry Part Ways With Big Machine". Billboard. March 1, 2016.
- "Republic Nashville Signs Greg Bates". Big Machine Records. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on August 10, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "Big Machine Publicity Adds Burr". MusicRow. November 4, 2010.
- "Big Machine Records Creates New Label With Universal Republic". CMT.com. June 5, 2009.
- "Jackie Lee Inks Deal with Republic Nashville". Big Machine Records. February 16, 2012. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "Martina McBride Signs to Republic Nashville". CMT.com. November 8, 2010.
- Foster, Ben (October 10, 2013). "Canadian Country Star Dallas Smith Signs With Republic Nashville; Releases First Single to iTunes". Roughstock. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- "Dot Records – Artists". Dot Records. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "'Voice' Bummers: Kimberly Nichole Leaves Show, Craig Wayne Boyd Leaves Label". Yahoo!. June 13, 2015.
- "Eli Young Band Make Move to the Valory Music Co". Valory Music Co. July 8, 2015. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "Valory Music Co. – Artists". Valory Music Co.
- "Taylor Swift fans unite to support Delta Rae after band leaves Big Machine". Taste Of Country. July 2, 2019.
- "Tara Thompson Joins BMLG's Valory Music Co. Roster". MusicRow. October 26, 2015.
- "Laura Signed To Big Machine Records". Laura Marano Official Website. March 28, 2015. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "Who Is Fancy Talks Shedding The Mystery". Billboard. April 10, 2015.