Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have settled their lawsuit with Triller, after suing the service last month for $28 million, an amount they contended was owed after their sale of Verzuz to the service in March 2021.
Specific terms of the settlement were not revealed in the late Thursday announcement, beyond a promise that “the settlement will increase the ownership stake given to the artists that Timbaland and Swizz Beatz brought to Triller as part of the original deal.”
“Verzuz has always been a platform that is by the artists, for the artists and with the people,” Swizz Beatz and Timbaland said in a statement. “We’re glad to come to an amicable agreement with Triller and continue giving fans the music and community that they’ve come to know and love from the brand.”
“Verzuz and Triller will always be a safe place and outlet for creators and their art. Nothing will change that,” said Bobby Sarnevesht, Triller’s executive chairman and co-founder. “Nothing will change that. Creators started this and will continue building it. This is a victorious moment in the Triller and Verzuz relationship as we march together toward the public markets. Stay tuned.”
The lawsuit was filed in August by the two producers, who founded the popular Verzuz virtual battle series in March 2020 on Instagram Live, then sold it to Triller for undisclosed terms about a year later. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland (legal names: Kasseem Daoud Dean and Timothy Mosley) both received equity in the sale, along with 43 artists who had participated in the program. Their lawsuit alleged that Triller had failed to make a significant payment to the duo in January of this year, and that the service had agreed in a settlement to pay them a total of $18 million in March, followed by $1 million a month for the following 10 months — but that none of those promised payments had been forthcoming this year.
At the time of the August lawsuit, a Triller spokesperson responded with the claim that the company had already paid “over $50 million” in cash and stock to the pair so far, and that the pair had not met the threshold to receive any additional earn-out payments, which Triller said was at the heart of the dispute.
Said the Triller spokesperson in August, “It is unfortunate they elected to elevate this to the press as a ‘legal shakedown’ and it ignores the fact that they have deliverables which include, but are not limited to, delivery of a set number of Verzuz for 2022. We hope this was just overzealous lawyers jumping the gun… If this does proceed in court we look forward to a judgment that weighs all the facts.“
Six Verzuz challenges have aired so far in 2022, with the most recent being more than two months ago, when Luny Tunes and DJ Nelson competed on July 17.
The joint announcement Thursday said, “Swizz Beatz and Timbaland remain proud of the platform that they created with Verzuz and its acquisition by Triller due to the company’s willingness to celebrate and showcase artists.” S: Variety