One year after launching Verzuz, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have sold the powerhouse platform.
Triller Network, the parent company of the social-networking app Triller, has acquired the global livestream music series. While financial details weren’t disclosed, Swizz and Timbaland will become large shareholders in the Triller Network and serve as brand visionaries on the Triller Verzuz management team.
The Verzuz co-creators have also allocated a portion of their equity in the Triller Verzuz combined company to all 43 performers who have appeared on Verzuz to date. Artists becoming shareholders and partners in Triller Network include John Legend, DMX, Alicia Keys, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Jeezy, Nelly, Ludacris, Brandy, Monica, Gladys Knight, D’Angelo, and more.
“This is a momentous occasion not only for Verzuz and Triller but the music business as a whole,” said Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. “By putting Verzuz in the Triller Network ecosystem and expanding the Verzuz brand to be side by side with the powerful Triller app, we will be able to continue to grow and evolve the music business as a whole, as we have been doing. To have partners in Triller who share our vision, specifically to celebrate and elevate the amazing artists who continue to shape the culture around the world and give the consumer more direct access, is game-changing.”
Added Swizz and Timbaland, “We couldn’t be happier to be elevating Verzuz and Triller and to recognize, in a very real way, all of the artists who have helped make Verzuz the global phenomenon it is today. Our dream, the artists’ dream, today is realized, which is no small feat. Triller Verzuz is a company that’s by the artists, for the artists and with the people.”
“There is no more disruptive and innovative brand in music today than Verzuz,” said Bobby Sarnevesht, Executive Chairman and co-owner of Triller. “Verzuz and music are synonymous, and both Triller and Verzuz share the ‘artist first, music first’ vision. We view this acquisition as more of a partnership than an acquisition, as Swizz, Timbaland and the other 43 artists who are all becoming shareholders and partners in Triller Verzuz from this day forward become our voice.”
As of now, there are plans to keep Verzuz on Instagram and Twitter in addition to Triller. But it won’t be returning to Apple Music after the deal expired. “We should be smart and just put it only on Triller. But we have strong core audiences on Instagram and Twitter as well. So for right now, we want to leave everything in place,” Swizz told Billboard.
Verzuz launched in March of 2020 amid the cancelation of live events due to the pandemic. The platform has become a cultural phenomenon, amassing more than five billion impressions across platforms including Instagram and Apple Music. Earlier this year, Verzuz partnered with the NFL and plans to venture into additional sports verticals, comedy, and live events in the future.