Universal Music Group Sues Triller Over Unpaid License Fees


Universal Music Group filed a lawsuit against video app Triller over unpaid license fees, different reports. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Triller has not made payments for the past nine months, thereby violating their licensing agreement with UMG. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Triller and UMG for additional information and comment.

According to documents viewed by different, Triller failed to make three installments of the payment plan stipulated in their contract. The complaint says the video-sharing app agreed to pay nearly $3 million for licensing and prior use of the Universal Music catalog over two years, with payments required on a quarterly basis.

UMG also alleged that Triller agreed to pay $1 million for use of its catalog by third-party advertisers or promotional content—but only three of the required six quarterly payments were made. In exchange for these payments, Triller allegedly made written and oral promises to honor the agreement. UMG claims it notified Triller that it was terminating their agreement due to alleged contract violations.

UMG and Triller have had their differences in the past; in 2021, UMG pulled out its catalog from the app, claiming that Triller is “shamefully withholding payments from our artists.” A spokesperson for Triller denied the allegation, telling Pitchfork that they “deny” that Triller withheld any payment from the artist. Within months, the two companies resolved the matter and announced their licensing agreement.

Last year, Sony Music Entertainment took back the rights to its catalog from Triller, claiming the company owed millions in royalty payments. After them nabbed the app for copyright infringement and breach of contract, saying that Triller failed to honor the end of their licensing agreement.

At the time, a representative for Triller told Pitchfork that the complaint “grossly mischaracterizes” their relationship with Sony and “leans toward the bully that major music labels often criticize.”

In August of 2022, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland filed a lawsuit against Triller saying the company still owes them $28 million after buying Verzuz. The suit is settled next month.



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