Verzuz Heads to Twitter/X Under Exclusive Distribution Deal — Timbaland and Swizz Beatz Retain Full Ownership and Creative Control

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(l to r) Twitter/X CEO Linda Yaccarino, Timbaland, Elon Musk, and Swizz Beatz in Cannes, France. Photo Credit: Verzuz

Twitter/X is now the exclusive home of Verzuz, full ownership and creative control of which remain with Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

The Elon Musk-owned social platform and the Verzuz founders formally announced their tie-up at Cannes Lions today. Additionally, X shed light on the specifics behind the pact via a long-form News post.

As many know, the music-competition series previously sold to Triller. But Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, who in 2022 sued for millions in missing payments from the transaction, reacquired 100 percent ownership of the asset earlier in 2024, X reiterated.

Per the same source, the Verzuz founders (as well as the artists who participated in the program) still possess equity stakes in Triller. Despite reportedly grappling with operational woes, including on the licensing-payment side, the TikTok rival remains committed to achieving its longstanding goal of listing on the stock market, a May release shows.

(Twitter/X is embroiled in a rights-related legal battle of its own, with the National Music Publishers’ Association seeking millions in damages for alleged copyright infringement.)

The developments evidently set the stage for Verzuz and X to negotiate the terms of “a mutually beneficial alliance.”

Under that alliance, the appropriate entrepreneurs will retain full control and ownership of Verzuz, as initially mentioned, with X receiving “exclusive distribution rights.” While the terms of the union haven’t been publicly disclosed, the involved parties did touch on plans to reveal a new Verzuz matchup “soon.”

Touting the deal in a statement, Timbaland praised X as “the most innovative platform globally.”

“We are thrilled to partner with X, the most innovative platform globally,” the 52-year-old Peloton collaborator communicated. “Our goal has always been to bring Verzuz to the world which we can now do bigger than ever.”

And in remarks of her own, X CEO Linda Yaccarino voiced an ambitious goal of redefining “how consumers engage with their favorite entertainment.”

“Our platform stands at the forefront of innovation,” the former NBCUniversal exec said in part, “and Verzuz defines the essence of an innovative content experience. As we continue to work with the most exciting voices to bring premium content to X, there is no better fit than this series. Together we will redefine how consumers engage with their favorite entertainment, one Verzuz at a time.”

Important on multiple levels, the Verzuz-X agreement could mark the beginning of a music-content buildout (and potentially a more robust approach to licensing) for the social platform.

Separately, the news is significant with regard to the quick-evolving social landscape in the U.S., referring particularly to TikTok’s January forced-sale deadline. That’s not to say Verzuz would have arrived on the ByteDance-owned app under normal circumstances.

But particularly given Verzuz’s prior presence on Triller as well as TikTok’s apparent interest in music programming, the latter company may have also proven a suitable home. However, one needn’t stretch the imagination to see why businesses and professionals might be hesitant to ink deals with a service that could be forced to shut down in the world’s largest economy seven short months from now.