Triller, one of TikTok’s foremost competitors, has inked licensing deals with PRS for Music, GEMA, and several other collecting societies and indie publishers that are part of ICE Core.
ICE and Triller unveiled the comprehensive licensing agreement today, in a statement shared with Digital Music News. According to the email, the contract “covers Triller from its launch” and encompasses usages in more than 160 territories. Included in the pact is “a partnership on developing data reporting” in an effort to expedite and improve the accuracy of royalty payments to songwriters and composers.
ICE maintains a database of nearly 40 million works and has paid out over $1.17 billion (€1 billion) to rightsholders since March 2016. Aside from the above-mentioned member entities, Concord, Sweden’s STIM, Downtown, Ireland’s IMRO, and Peermusic are part of ICE Core, which refers specifically to the organizations’ undertaking for joint international licenses. To date, ICE Core has been licensed to “more than 50 services” and has generated north of $585.58 million for its members.
Addressing the licensing deal in a statement, Triller CEO Mike Lu said: “We found this to be a really smooth process, reflecting both ICE’s experience in licensing a wide range of digital services and our own approach in seeking fair deals with rightsholders. Together the shared knowledge proved invaluable in both addressing a range of challenges, agreeing on the present and mapping out how this could develop in the future.”
This move is the latest in a long line of strategic decisions designed to help Triller dethrone TikTok as the leading short-form video platform.
One year back, Triller made clear its ambitions by raising $28 million in Series B funding. Also noteworthy is that each of the Big Three record labels are on board with the service and, to be sure, own minority stakes.
The uncertainty surrounding TikTok’s future in the United States has opened another window of opportunity for Triller, which boasts approximately 100 million monthly active users (MAUs) and rose to the top of the App Store in August. On this front, late July saw the app file a massive patent-infringement lawsuit against TikTok, before moving to solidify its content-delivery infrastructure (spurring considerable 7digital stock-price gains in the process).
Then, Triller reached a high-profile agreement with JioSaavn, India’s largest music streaming service. The major contract arrived after the Indian government banned TikTok (along with 59 other apps with ties to China) at June’s end, citing privacy and national security concerns. Reliance Industries, India’s biggest conglomerate and the owner of JioSaavn, had planned to invest in TikTok prior to its domestic prohibition.