Triller and music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz settle lawsuit
L.A. entertainment company Triller on Thursday settled one of several lawsuits the company is facing over allegations it owes money to business partners.
The music video and live events company reached a settlement with music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. The news was first reported by Variety.
Timbaland and Swizz Beatz are the founders of Verzuz, which is known for hosting live events featuring music battles among prominent artists. Triller acquired Verzuz last year, which helped propel the company’s live events business. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz at the time called it “game-changing.”
After Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sued Triller over missing payments after the sale of Verzuz, Diddy wants to write off the whole company until it makes things right.
But the tune changed when Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sued Triller last month, alleging the company breached an agreement with them and owed them more than $28 million in damages plus interest. Rappers including Diddy said they would not engage with Triller until the issue was addressed.
At the time of the lawsuit, Triller said that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland had received more than $50 million in cash and stock to date related to the acquisition of Verzuz and that there was only one $10-million payment in question.
“We don’t believe they have met the thresholds for that payment yet, but have been trying to resolve it amicably,” Triller said then, later adding, “We hope this was just overzealous lawyers jumping the gun.”
In an announcement Thursday, the parties involved said they had come to a settlement that will increase the ownership stake for artists that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland brought to Triller in their original deal.
“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,” Swizz Beatz and Timbaland said in a statement.
Triller Executive Chairman Bobby Sarnevesht called it a “victorious moment in the Triller and VERZUZ relationship.”
Triller started as a music video app in 2015 and its popularity rose dramatically in August 2020 when the Trump administration threatened to ban video app TikTok because of security concerns. Over time, Triller has positioned itself as an entertainment video streaming platform for creators, performers and music artists. The company has hosts live events, including boxing matches.
Triller, an L.A.-based video app, has received a big boost from security concerns and political churn around the blockbuster app TikTok.
But Triller has faced allegations of not paying creatives on time. The Washington Post reported that Black video creators failed to receive payments in a timely manner, with the Post describing some payments as “erratic” and “in some cases, nonexistent.” Triller Chief Executive Mahi de Silva told the Post that his company met its financial commitment to creators.
Last month, Sony Music sued Triller for copyright infringement, saying it is owed millions of dollars.
In February 2021, Universal Music Group accused Triller of withholding payments from artists. Triller at the time denied withholding payments, and in May, the two companies ended their dispute and expanded their licensing agreement.
Sony Music sues TikTok rival Triller in New York federal court for alleged copyright infringement, claiming it lost millions in licensing revenue.
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