After Licensing Skirmish, Triller Inks Deal With National Music Publishers’ Association

By 03/25/2021
After Licensing Skirmish, Triller Inks Deal With National Music Publishers’ Association

After some rather harsh words back-and-forth with one of the world’s top record labels, TikTok competitor Triller has reached a music licensing agreement with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), whose members include most American music publishing companies.

The agreement states that publishers and songwriters will be compensated when their songs are used on Triller. It’s an opt-in agreement, Billboard reports, meaning that eligible publishers must take action to be covered rather than payments being granted automatically.

“NMPA is pleased to have come to an agreement with Triller to account for the past use of songs as well as a forward-looking license for our eligible independent publisher members,” NMPA president and CEO David Israelite told Billboard in a statement. “Music is foundational to Triller’s platform and it is essential that the songwriters who create that music are paid for their contributions to the Triller experience.”

“David Israelite and the NMPA team are truly amazing advocates for writers and publishers,” added Triller chairman and co-owner Bobby Sarnevesht. “We greatly look forward to working with him and the NMPA membership to demonstrate Triller’s ongoing commitment to supporting writers.”

Billboard notes that Israelite has been publicly critical of Triller’s licensing practices for the past year. And in February, Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record label, pulled its catalog from Triller, claiming that the platform was “shamefully” withholding licensing payments to artists and refusing to negotiate going forward.

“This has to be a bad Punk’d episode,” Triller CEO Mike Lu said at the time. “I’m waiting for Ashton [Kutcher] to jump out of my closet.”

Triller, which acquired artist battle franchise Verzuz earlier this month, also recently announced that Justin Bieber and Doja Cat will perform at its Triller Fight Club boxing event next month, in which YouTube star Jake Paul will face off against UFC fighter Ben Askren.