May 20, 2021

Swizz Beatz sells Verzuz to Triller, music industry app

The latest news with Verzuz was bound to come (sadly it's not Jay-Z vs Nas). Yesterday for an undisclosed amount, Swizz Beatz announced the sale of his hit brand to the social media app, Triller. 

The latest news with Verzuz was bound to come (sadly it's not Jay-Z vs Nas). Yesterday for an undisclosed amount, Swizz Beatz announced the sale of his hit brand to the social media app, Triller.  

Verzuz’s owners, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, will become equity holders and board members in Triller’s parent company. Simply put, this is Black business done to perfection. 

There are no shady stories of an artist being cheated or muscled out of their fair share. Every Verzuz competitor from Fabolous to DMX will receive equity and Triller, an app struggling for relevancy in the social media landscape, acquires one of the hottest brands. 

What fans don’t realize is that Verzuz is a piece in a much larger battle between the big three music labels and tech. On one side of the fence sits Triller, a social media app backed by the big three labels that allows users to create music videos using AI tools, and on the other side of the fence with a much bigger yard sits TikTok. 

TikTok has become the home of every viral dance craze, turned unknown artists into celebrities, and even upset the President of the United States. They’re punk rock without even trying. 

As the music industry has lost ground to streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music, they’ve staked hundreds of millions on the hope that Triller can be their music app that connects with the culture. 

With Triller and now Verzuz folded into the brand, the music industry believes they can make Triller a digital destination. While TikTok relies purely on consumers creating viral content, Triller hopes to capitalize on Verzuz’s celebrities and other events to capture more eyeballs. They recently hosted the Mike Tyson v Roy Jones fight and are looking at similar sporting events as a means to catch up to TikTok. 

With this in mind, Verzuz makes complete sense as a purchase. But can Triller and the music industry rely on hip hop stars from the ’90s and Mike Tyson to compete with 14-year-olds creating viral content in 2021, or is it simply too hard to teach an old dog like the music industry new tricks?  



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