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2 mins read

Verzuz Acquired By Triller, Equity To Be Shared With Performers

Verzuz, the popular livestream music platform created by producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, has been acquired by Triller Network, the parent company of the Triller app.

Triller boasts more than 300 million users and premium content like the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight, with a number of tech innovations related to advertising.

Financial details of the deal are undisclosed but it was announced that Timbaland and Swizz Beatz are now “larger shareholders” in the Triller Network, and that they have allocated “a portion of their equity in the Triller VERZUZ combined company to all 43 creatives who have performed on VERZUZ to date.”

Verzuz was launched in March 2020 as an Instagram Live series. Since then, the platform established integrations with Apple Music and Twitter and has boosted sales and streams for its featured artists.

Some of the artists becoming shareholders in Triller Network, including John Legend, DMX, Alicia Keys, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Too $hort, Patti LaBelle, Gucci Mane, Jeezy, E-40, Bounty Killer, D’Angelo, Ludacris, RZA, Nelly, Gladys Knight, T-Pain, Lil Jon, Jill Scott, 112, Kirk Franklin and many others.

In a joint statement, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz said, “By putting Verzuz in the Triller Network ecosystem and expanding the Verzuz brand to be side by side with the powerful Triller app, we will be able to continue to grow and evolve the music business as a whole, as we have been doing.”

Verzuz has also expanded into sports with its recent NFL collaboration, NFL Pro Bowl Verzuz. Future plans include more sport verticals as well as ventures into comedy and live events.

-Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Byron Allen Acquires 11 TV Stations for $290 Million

Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen is expanding his TV station holdings with the purchase of 11 small-market network affiliates from USA Television for $290 million.

The largest of the stations is in market No. 79, Huntsville/Decatur/Florence in Alabama. The deal unveiled Tuesday with Atlanta-based USA Television brings Allen’s investments this year in small- and mid-sized market TV stations to $455 million.

In July, Allen Media Broadcasting cut a deal with Bayou City Broadcasting to buy four stations in Indiana and Louisiana for $165 million.

“I have known Byron Allen for decades and we are delighted that these stations will now be part of his dynamic company, and that Heartland management will continue to guide them,” said USA Television CEO Robert S. Prather, Jr. “These stations are dedicated to their local communities and this transaction will enable them to become even stronger on both their broadcast and digital platforms.”

Prather, former head of Atlanta-based broadcaster Gray Television, has been buying up stations during the past few years in partnership with USA Television parent Heartland Media and Atlanta-based private equity firm MSouth Equity Partners.

“Bob Prather is an excellent broadcaster and he has done a brilliant job of assembling a stellar management team to operate these very strong network affiliate broadcast stations,” said Allen, chairman-CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media.

“This is another milestone for our company, as we have now agreed to purchase our second broadcast network affiliate station group within the past three months, and continue to aggressively look for other opportunities to grow our global media company through strategic acquisitions.”

Allen Media is fast becoming one of the nation’s largest African American owners of local TV stations.

The USA Television station deal includes stations in Fort Wayne, Ind. (Fox’s WFFT), Eugene, Ore (ABC’s KEZI), Chico-Redding in California (NBC’s KNVN), Rochester, Minn. (CBS’ KIMT) and Terre Haute, Ind. (CBS’ WTHI).


Source: Variety