Despite facing lawsuits from Universal Music Group (UMG) and others, short-form video-sharing app Triller has officially wrapped its acquisition of Julius Influencer Marketing, according to an announcement message.
Triller, which has long been plotting a public-market debut, just recently unveiled this latest purchase’s close via a formal release; higher-ups first detailed the planned Julius buyout in March of 2022. Subsequently, the major labels’ music was pulled from the platform, which Sony Music Entertainment (SME) named in a multimillion-dollar complaint in late August.
In the suit, SME called out the purported “purchasing spree” that Triller had executed while failing to cough up owed music royalties, specifically mentioning Julius. Then, the TikTok rival in late September of 2022 disclosed that it had secured $310 million in equity funding, shortly after settling a $28 million missing-payment lawsuit filed by Verzuz founders Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.
Finally, in terms of pertinent background details, the initially mentioned suit from Universal Music Group made its way to the court towards 2023’s start, and Triller downplayed this second missing-payment action as “a plain vanilla case that virtually every social network has faced in one form or another.”
Back to Triller’s newly completed acquisition of Julius, though, the purchasing party touted the latter as “a complete influencer marketing system” and made clear its plans to integrate the service with other subsidiaries such as Fangage and Amplify.ai.
“We are delighted to integrate the industry-leading technology from Julius into Triller’s Creator Platform,” Triller CEO Mahi de Silva relayed. “With deep cross-platform insights into creators and their audiences coupled with the ability to track and measure the impact of creators, Julius is a game-changer for social commerce. Our unique AI-powered platform now delivers an end-to-end solution for the creator economy from brand storytelling to driving e-commerce.”
And in remarks of her own, Julius president Karin Swanson, whose New York City-headquartered company is said to boast “a global database of millions of influencers and brands across every social media channel,” communicated in part: “The Triller vision complements Julius’ mission of bridging the gap between creators and brands in an organic and impactful way for all parties involved. We’re excited to see how these changes will further streamline efficiencies and maximize ROI for our customers.”
Absent from Triller’s release is any mention of the above-highlighted goal of trading on the public market. After a planned special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger fell through, higher-ups indicated that they would list the business directly on NASDAQ sometime in Q4 2022.
Of course, said direct listing has likewise failed to come to fruition, and it’s unclear when (or whether) Triller will arrive on NASDAQ. Meanwhile, TikTok continues to grapple with different operational hurdles – including stateside bans and a quick-approaching congressional hearing.