Over three months after Triller was sued by Sony Music over “failure and refusal to pay millions of dollars in contractual licensing fees,” the video app has removed that label’s catalog — as well as major labels Universal and Warner Music — from their service.
Merlin — which provided licensing for an army of independent labels — also had its catalog pulled from Triller after their agreement expired. The video app is now “reassessing each of our label deals as they come due as our catalogue music usage is a small fraction of our overall business with creators,” Triller said in a statement (via Billboard).
“Some labels are more used than others and if we can make financial arrangements which make sense for the platform, on a label by label basis, we will. In other cases the usage does not justify the cost.”
Since 2020, Triller has faced hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits due to what Sony Music and other labels, artists, and publishers described as “brazen contempt” and “willful and unauthorized use” of song catalogs.
“Triller neglected its payment obligations under the Agreement, preventing Sony Music from compensating its creators — the world-class performers and artists who created the sound recordings Triller incorporated into its users’ videos — for Triller’s use of their music,” Sony Music’s lawsuit alleged.
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Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, who sold their popular Verzuz streaming series to Triller in March 2021, sued the app for $28 million in Aug. 2022, allegedly the company missed numerous payments following the acquisition; that lawsuit was “amicably” settled the following month.
Universal Music Group previously pulled their catalog from Triller in 2021 over withheld payments; however, the two sides reached a licensing agreement that restored UMG’s presence on the app until Triller’s recent “reassessing.”