Los Angeles entertainment company Triller on Thursday settled one of several lawsuits the company faces over allegations it owes money to business partners.
The music video and live events company has struck a deal with music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. the news that first reported by Variety.
Timbaland and Swizz Beatz are the founders of Verzuz, which is known for hosting live events featuring music battles between top artists. Triller acquired Verzuz last year, helping to boost the company’s live events business. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz at the time called it a “game changer”.
But the tone changed when Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sued Triller last month, claiming the company reneged on an agreement with them and owed them more than $28 million in damages plus interest. The rappers, including Diddy, said they would not commit to 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 Verzuz acquisition and that there was only a $10 million payment at issue.
“We don’t think they’ve reached the thresholds for that payment yet, but they’ve been trying to work it out amicably,” Triller said at the time, later adding, “We’re hoping they’re just overzealous lawyers.”
In an announcement Thursday, the parties involved said they had reached an agreement that will increase the ownership stake in the artists that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland brought to Triller in their original deal.
“We are pleased to reach an amicable agreement with Triller and continue to provide fans with the music and community they have come to know and love from the brand,” Swizz Beatz and Timbaland said in a statement.
Triller CEO Bobby Sarnevesht called it a “victorious moment in Triller and VERZUZ’s relationship.”
Triller started as a music video app in 2015 and its popularity skyrocketed in August 2020 when the Trump administration threatened to ban video app TikTok due to security concerns. Over time, Triller has positioned itself as an entertainment video streaming platform for music creators, performers, and artists. The company has hosted live events, including boxing matches.
But Triller has faced accusations of not paying creatives on time. The Washington Post reported that black video makers could not receive payments in a timely manner, with the publication describing some payments as “erratic” and “in some cases non-existent”. Triller CEO Mahi de Silva told the Post that his company honored his financial commitment to creators.
Last month, Sony Music sued Triller for copyright infringement, claiming it is owed millions of dollars.
In February 2021, Universal Music Group accused Triller of withholding artist payments. Triller denied withholding payments at the time, and in May the two companies ended their dispute and extended their license agreement.