Timbaland & Swizz Beatz’s Verzuz Acquired By Triller Network, Previous Artists That Participated Will Have Ownership
In a new interview with Billboard the duo, who launched the virtual feature in the beginning of a nationwide quarantine last March, spoke on the acquisition and the fact that 43 artists who have previously participated will get shares.
Swizz Beatz said,
“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. 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.”
He added that the best part about the deal was
“hearing everybody being so floored about having shares in the company and feeling like they belong. That’s the real currency. It’s going to take the creative to save the creative.”
Artists who have participated so far include: Ashanti & Keshia Cole, Jeezy & Gucci, Babyface & Teddy Riley, Monica & Brandy, and Too Short & E-40, just to name a few.
After previously turning down TV deals, Swizz Beatz said it was the artists’ ownership factor that set Triller Network apart from platforms like Apple Music and Instagram, where Verzuz was born.
“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. But that partner would have to totally be about the creatives. They had to accept everybody, not just me and Tim, because we noticed there are a lot of companies and businesses that aren’t used to having many creatives as owners, as leaders with voices. They’re cool with having one or two people from the culture but not 43. Me and Tim were coming with our family. Triller was the only company that accepted that.”
“It was about making a difference and sharing that gift. As Swizz said, 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.”
When asked if future participants will have shares, Swizz Beatz explained:
“We want to keep it organic and decide as we go along. Going forward, people will be truly incentivized in a great way. But these 43 artists are special because they played a big part in the process. They believed in us when our service was bad; took risks and came out of their houses during COVID-19 to do something for free, for their fans and love of the arts.”
While Triller has acquired Verzuz, it will still be available on the current platforms it airs as well.
“We’re just getting started. We have so much more to do. We expanded into Verzuz sports with the NFL Pro Bowl in January and want to move into comedy. We just want to be disruptive. We’ve broken a barrier because I feel like creatives have lost their place in the world. And this puts a light back on them. So Verzuz is going to be very versatile.”
Swizz Beatz concluded,
“Also just to add to that, we’re thinking global and not just domestic. We’re hitting Africa, Asia, and India when the time is right. There are creatives all over the world and Verzuz is the hub for creativity. Of course, we’re going to keep it organic. We’re not going to make this announcement and try to get all fancy real quick. But we never built this to be in a box; actually creating this meant stepping outside of the box. So Tim and I have to keep pushing the envelope and inspiring others. The sky’s not the limit, it’s just the view.”
What are your thoughts on Triller Network acquiring Verzuz and past participants getting ownership? Comment and let us know.