Swizz Beatz & Timbaland Sue Triller for $28M – Billboard

Timbaland & Swizz Beatz Settle ‘Verzuz’ Lawsuit With Triller – Billboard


Timbaland and Swizz Beatz have settled their $28 million lawsuit against Triller for allegedly failing to pay money owed from the sale of their popular Verzuz livestream series.

“VERZUZ has always been a platform that is by the artists, for the artists and with the people,” said Swizz Beatz and Timbaland in a statement. “We’re glad to come to an amicable agreement with Triller and continue giving fans the music and community that they’ve come to know and love from the brand.” 

Under the terms of the settlement, the ownership stake in Triller awarded to artists who appeared on Verzuz in the original deal has been increased. 

“VERZUZ and Triller will always be a safe place and outlet for creators and their art. Nothing will change that,” said Bobby Sarnevesht, Triller’s executive chairman and co-founder. “Creators started this and will continue building it. This is a victorious moment in the Triller and VERZUZ relationship as we march together toward the public markets. Stay tuned.”     

Timbaland and Swiss Beatz launched Verzuz in March 2020, just days after the global shut-down from the COVID-19 pandemic, and it took off as peak quarantine entertainment – a virtual music battle between top artists, livestreamed to millions of users on Instagram and other platforms. Since the pair of producers squared off in the inaugural show, Verzuz has featured high-profile showdowns between T-Pain and Lil Jon, Alicia Keys and John Legend, DMX and Snoop Dogg, Brandy and Monica, and many other top names, often drawing millions of viewers.

After launching in 2015, Triller rose to prominence in 2020 as a competitor to TikTok when the Trump administration said it was considering banning the popular social media service from the U.S. market over its ties to the Chinese government. Triller — whose investors include Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd and Marshmello — made aggressive moves to compete with TikTok by courting influencers to the platform, but also experienced serious hiccups. Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, pulled its catalog from the platform in February 2021 over royalty issues before eventually resolving the matter and restoring the songs a few months later. The service also was accused of — and then denied — inflating user numbers just weeks before it was expected to go public as part of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger.

The SPAC merger didn’t happen, but recently Triller has been making another play to go public. After calling off a $5 billion proposed merger with video-tech company SeaChange International in June, the company submitted paperwork to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s lawsuit wasn’t the first time this year Triller was accused of not paying its bills. In June, boxing reporter Dan Rafael reported that Triller had not fully paid several fighters from a May 2022 bout. And earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that Triller had a spotty history of paying Black influencers that had been recruited to join the platform; the company strongly denied those allegations. Most recently, Sony filed a lawsuit against the video-sharing social networking app, claiming it was owed millions of dollars in unpaid licensing fees as well as copyright infringement for using its music after being served a termination notice and failing to pull the company’s catalog of music from the platform.

This story is developing.




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