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During the pandemic a lot of American's struggled with finding ways to keep their sanity. Many turned to online entertainment to retain some sense of normalcy. DJ D-Nice with Club Quarantine. Tory Lanez with Quarantine Radio. And probably the most notable staple of internet joy that came from all of this was the VERZUZ battles. What started as random internet banter between super producers Timbaland and Swizzled Beatz grew into literal primetime viewing.
And a year later, Swizzy and Tim have changed the game once again. It was announced Tuesday that the Triller Network has acquired the VERZUZ platform. Although the financial details of the purchase have not been disclosed, several other details have been. The founding fathers of VERZUZ will remain hands on with the platform and are joining the Triller management team. In addition, the two Grammy-winning artists become “large shareholders” in Triller Network.
That's not all. The two pioneering producers are giving a part of their equity to all of the 43 performers who have battled it out on the VERZUZ platform up until this point. Less than 9 months after signing an exclusive deal with Apple Music, the duo have found away to change the game once again. All while giving equity to the participants who helped build the platform into what it is today.
“We had a great partnership with Apple. Shout-out to Larry Jackson and the whole Apple Music team. We have nothing but great things to say about them. And Instagram and Twitter have always been great supporters. But after listening to all the deals there were coming to us, we said, you know what? We’d like a partner that we can grow with,” Swizz Beatz told Billboard. He confirmed that for now, Verzuz battles will continue to be broadcast on Instagram and Twitter rather than being exclusive to Triller.
The VERZUZ streams have consistently drawn in hundreds of thousands of views each episode. With the most popular streams bringing in millions. The show has proven to be a huge boost for featured artists’ streams in their catalogs as well. Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle saw over 200% increases in streams in the days following their show.
“This is a momentous occasion not only for VERZUZ and Triller but the music business as a whole,” Swizz Beatz and Timbaland said in a joint statement. “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 culture around the world and give the consumer more direct access, is game changing.”
This news comes just a couple short weeks after Jay-Z made a similar move with Tidal. The Hip Hop billionaire sold the music streaming app to Square, allowing all of the original artist shareholders to retain their shares and joining the Square board of directors. Hip Hop is doing a very good job of showing the world that it is more than just music. Our favorite rappers are becoming our favorite business men and women.
“There is no more disruptive and innovative brand in music today than VERZUZ. 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.”
The 43 VERZUZ participants that will now have shares in the Triller Network are as follows:
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