Swizz Beatz and Timbaland Strike Verzuz Distribution Deal With Elon Musk’s X

Verzuz, the online platform launched during the pandemic by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, has struck a distribution partnership with Elon Musk’s X. The pair made the announcement during Cannes Lions conference in France on Wednesday.

Earlier in the year, Swizz and Timbaland reacquired Verzuz from their previous partner Triller and now own 100% of the platform, while retaining their equity (along with the artists who participated in Verzuz) in Triller, according to the announcement. Under the terms of the new deal, the pair maintain their full ownership and creative control of the platform while X receives exclusive distribution rights. The company estimates it will now broadcast to an audience of over 550 million active users, expanding its viewership and international reach. Viewers will now be able to watch for free exclusively on X.

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Verzuz was launched in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic as a way of connecting music fans by bringing rap or DJ battles to the internet. Beginning with Swizz and Timbaland, the platform quickly gained popularity by matching up Babyface vs. Teddy Riley, Nelly vs. Ludacris, Boi-1da vs. Hit-Boy, T-Pain vs. Lil Jon, RZA vs. DJ Premiere, Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Alicia Keys vs. John Legend, DMX vs. Snoop Dogg, and even Patti Labelle vs. Gladys Knight and Brand vs. Monica. It has produced over 40 episodes, generating 100 million-plus live views and over 70 billion impressions, according to the announcement. The company was sold to Triller in 2021 but became mired in legal disputes and has since been reaquired by Swizz and Timbaland.

The announcement says the next Verzuz matchup will be scheduled soon.

Swizz stated, “We are beyond thrilled to have found the best partner for Verzuz. Not only are we excited to have Verzuz on X, we’re excited to help X build the biggest entertainment company in the world. I would like to thank Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino, Brett Weitz, Mitchell Smith and the entire X team for believing in the Verzuz vision.  We can’t wait to get to work.”

Timbaland added, “We are thrilled to partner with X, the most innovative platform globally. Our goal has always been to bring Verzuz to the world which we can now do bigger than ever.”

Linda Yaccarino stated, “X is so proud to partner with trailblazing creators, artists, and entrepreneurs Swizz Beatz & Timbaland. Our platform stands at the forefront of innovation, and Verzuz defines the essence of an innovative content experience. As we continue to work with the most exciting voices to bring premium content to X, there is no better fit than this series. Together we will redefine how consumers engage with their favorite entertainment, one Verzuz at a time.”

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