Triller Agrees to Pay Sony Music $4.57 Million to Settle Breach of Contract Lawsuit: Filing

Triller reached an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment to pay $4.57 million to settle the music label’s breach of agreement lawsuit against the TikTok-style video sharing app, according to a court fling.

Triller has admitted liability in the dispute, according to the filing, submitted by Sony Music’s lawyers April 26 to the federal district court judge in the case. Reps for Triller did not respond to a request for comment Friday. A Sony Music spokesman declined to comment.

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“Prompt entry of judgment is needed to protect against any further dissipation of Triller’s assets or, worse still, a bankruptcy filing,” Sony Music said in the request for the court to rule on the consent agreement. “Triller is more than a year late on some of those contract payments and Sony Music should not have to wait longer to enforce a judgment to collect.”

Sony Music sued Triller in August 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that Triller had stopped paying music licensing fees in March of last year. Sony Music said it had terminated its licensing agreement with Triller. However, the label alleged, “Triller continued to use Sony Music’s sound recordings without authorization on the Triller App after the Agreement was terminated,” according to its filing this week. Triller first entered into a content distribution agreement with Sony Music in September 2016.

After Sony Music filed the lawsuit, Triller said in a statement that the complaint “grossly mischaracterizes our relationship with [Sony Music] and leans into the bully persona large music labels are often criticized for. We are focused on furthering the creator economy, and we will continue to seek a contract that achieves that goal.”

In December 2022, Triller removed the music catalogs for Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Merlin. A Triller rep at the time said Triller was “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.”

In January 2023, UMG sued Triller, alleging as Sony Music did that Triller failed to make payments for the last nine months in violation of their licensing agreement.

In addition, last summer Triller was sued by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, who alleged Triller owed them $28 million in payments from the app company’s acquisition of Verzuz, their livestreaming rap-battle show. The parties settled the suit in September 2022 for undisclosed terms.

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