Scooter Braun is the rare music business insider with a high profile outside of his industry. Since 2009, he’s been making headlines alongside the artists he represents, pop stars like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, J Balvin and, for a time, Kanye West. Along the way, he’s built his company, Ithaca Holdings, into a formidable entertainment powerhouse with divisions encompassing TV and film projects, a record label, publishing companies and investments in tech, apparel, social media and many more future-forward ventures. In June 2021, it was announced that HYBE, the South Korean entertainment giant which brought the boy band BTS to the world, was merging with Ithaca to create, what Braun calls, “a worldwide company overnight.” The deal came in at just at over a billion dollars allowing Braun entry into an even more exclusive club of self-made industry titans.
All this came at a challenging time for Braun in that he was adjusting to life and work during COVID and still weathering the aftershocks of a very public battle with Taylor Swift, topics he addresses with Variety executive editor Shirley Halperin on the latest episode of the Strictly Business podcast.
From his beginnings as a party promoter in Atlanta to his early days as a manager to his success as a tech investor, Braun, who turned 40 on June 18, reflects on his journey to success and looks to an as-yet-uncharted road ahead. Listen to the hour-long interview above or wherever podcasts are heard.
“Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of media and entertainment. A new episode debuts each Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and SoundCloud.