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Brief Published: 18 Mar 2021

Triller Stakes Claim on Verzuz Audiences


Triller Network, the New York-based parent company of social video app Triller, has bought Verzuz, the explosively popular live-streaming series that pits two music legends against each other to celebrate their creative back catalogue.

Verzuz has amassed over five billion impressions since its impromptu March 2020 launch on Instagram Live (Billboard, 2021), and has since partnered with Apple Music and Twitter to stream its events across multiple platforms.

As part of the deal, Verzuz creators Swizz Beats and Timbaland have joined the Triller Network management team and become large shareholders of the endeavour. The 46 artists who have performed on Verzuz so far, including household names like John Legend and Alicia Keys, will receive a share of that equity stake. Triller is not new to using equity to buy top talent that shores up its social video clout – in July 2020, the platform offered equity and a role on its executive board to add 18-year-old Noah Beck (formerly of the TikTok mega-influencer collective Sway House) to its stable.

For Triller, turning stakeholders into shareholders is a powerful tool to secure platform loyalty and mutual investment. In the creator ecosystem overall, monetisation strategies are evolving swiftly. As we highlighted in our Pop Culture Pulse Empowering Fresh Perspectives, shared equity arrangements and content co-ops like video community Clash are charting new ways for creators at all levels of fame to build long-term revenue streams for their work.

For more on new revenue systems emerging from media-centric communities, check out State of Media 2021 Update and our Pop Culture Primer: Trends for 2021.