Verzuz — the platform that entertained music lovers during the pandemic — has been acquired by Triller Network, the parent company of the popular Triller app. Creators Swizz Beatz and Timbaland announced the news on Tuesday morning (March 9) via celebratory Instagram posts.
“By the artist for the artist with the people!!! #Verzuztriller .... @triller @verzuztv,” the mega producers both wrote on their respective pages. “Life begins after your comfort zone...... Let’s go........Thx for all your support.”
Per the Triller deal, Tim and Swizz will serve as brand visionaries in Triller’s Verzuz management team. Additionally, they are now “larger shareholders” of the program and have allocated a portion of their equity “to the 43 artists who have performed on the Verzuz stage.”
The artists who are now partners in the Triller Network are: John Legend, DMX, Alicia Keys, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Too Short, Patti LaBelle, Gucci Mane, Jeezy, E-40, Bounty Killer, Ludacris, RZA, The Dream, Babyface, Nelly, Jagged Edge, Fred Hammond, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Brandy, Monica, Gladys Knight, Boi-1da, Hit-Boy, Ne-Yo, Johnta Austin, Scott Storch, T-Pain, Lil Jon, DJ Premier, Mannie Fresh, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Beenie Man, 112, Kirk Franklin, Sean Garrett, and D’Angelo.
“I don’t think there’s another company in the world that would let us bring in 43 artists-friends to participate in ownership of a company that’s valued at over a billion plus dollars,” the Ruff Ryders producer told Billboard of the decision to sell to Triller. “They came very strong and also with many creatives that are owners in the company already. That was a sign for us of being a perfect fit — and very disruptive.”
“It was about making a difference and sharing that gift,” added Timbaland. “...We started doing this out of love, giving it back and connecting to the world. And we just wanted to share that gift. It just feels good to give back to our creative community with a blessing in this type of structure. Think about it. Creatives build so many platforms, but you never see those creatives as part of the IPO.”
VERZUZ started last year as an Instagram Live series that aired from the comfort of artists’ homes and studios. In the wake of the increasing popularity, the producers teamed up with the likes of Apple Music, Ciroc and Doritos to create larger productions like the recent D’Angelo performance that broadcasted live from the Apollo Theater.
“We’re just getting started. We have so much more to do,” Swizz said. “We expanded into Verzuz sports with the NFL Pro Bowl in January and want to move into comedy. We just want to be disruptive.”