Triller Sued By App Consulting Firm Over Unpaid Bills – Billboard

September 2, 2022 - Uncategorized

Triller is facing yet another lawsuit over allegations that the social media company is refusing to pay its bills, this time from a smartphone app consulting firm that says its owed more than $132,000 in unpaid fees.

The new case, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles court, comes weeks after Timbaland and Swizz Beatz sued Triller for $28 million that they say they’re still owed from the sale of their popular Verzuz, and just days after Sony Music accused the Triller of failing to pay licensing fees for months.

The new allegations were filed by a company called Phiture, which offers consulting services to mobile app developers, like helping to improve visibility on app stores and grow subscribers. The company says it’s worked with SoundCloud, Adobe, Bumble and many other popular apps.

In its lawsuit, Phiture says it signed a services contract with Triller in March 2021, but that the company defaulted on the agreement by September of that year with $132,686 still owed: “Neither the whole or any part of the above sum has been paid although demand therefor has been made.”

A copy of the agreement attached to the complaint shows that Triller paid Phiture for so-called app store optimization services, including an audit of Trillers “presence” on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, as well as ongoing management to improve its placement on those stores. The service cost $14,000 per month, according to the contract.

A spokesman Triller declined to comment on the new allegations.

Triller, a TikTok-like service that allows users to create and share short videos, rose to prominence in 2020 when the Trump administration threatened to ban TikTok over its ties to the Chinese government. But two years later, such a ban doesn’t appear likely and Triller is facing a mounting series of lawsuits over allegations of unpaid bills.

On Aug. 16, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz sued the company for failing for allegedly failing to pay $28 million left from their 2021 sale of Verzuz – their hit livestream show in which two artists square off in a music battle. Triller has denied the allegations, saying it believes the two stars have not yet met certain thresholds for additional payment under the deal.

And on Monday, Sony Music Entertainment sued over allegations that Triller had not paid licensing fees since March and had offered “near-total radio silence” to the label’s efforts to collect. Sony claims that even after it terminated the deal for non-payment, Triller continued to use its catalog, showing a “brazen contempt” for Sony’s intellectual property rights.

Triller also denied Sony’s allegations, saying the lawsuit “grossly mischaracterizes our relationship with them and leans into the bully persona large music labels are often criticized for.”

The legal troubles come as Triller is gearing up for an initial public offering. Though the company had initially planned to go public through the formerly-popular ‘SPAC’ merger process, it filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in June indicating that it plans to take a more traditional IPO route. Earlier this week, the company announced it had secured “substantial pre-public financing” and would aim for a public listing by early in the fourth fiscal quarter (October-December).

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