Drake, Arianna Grande and Thousands of Others Are Back on Triller After Its Deal with Universal Music

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Drake, Arianna Grande and Thousands of Others Are Back on Triller After Its Deal with Universal Music

About three and a half months after Universal Music Group pulled its extensive catalog from Triller amid a licensing negotiation spat, the two sides have reached a new agreement, the companies announced Thursday.

Triller users will now once again have access to UMG's catalog and roster of artists, including Drake, Post Malone, Arianna Grande, Selena Gomez, Eminem and hundreds of others that had previously been pulled from the short-form video app.


In February Universal claimed Triller had "shamefully withheld payments" and that its public statement defending the situation was "removed from reality."

Triller brought in a new CEO in April, tech veteran Mahi de de Silva, who downplayed the conflict when he spoke to dot.LA.

"People try to use the public and press sentiment to try to shape commercial relationships. It's unfortunate that we get into that kind of noise. It's all just kind of positioning; it's not based in any kind of reality," he said, predicting a resolution would be forthcoming.

"We're pleased to have a deal with Triller that embraces the importance of compensating our artists, especially given the tremendous value music generates across their platform," said UMG's Executive VP of digital business development and strategy Jonathan Dworkin in a statement. "With this agreement, UMG continues to expand the universe of licensed social media platforms that allow fans to legitimately create and share content, while also growing an important new source of revenue for our artists."

Universal's chief counsel for its publishing unit, which oversees songwriters, added: "By licensing new platforms like Triller, we ensure writers are fairly compensated and we are strategically delivering growth to the overall publishing business."

Triller chairman Bobby Sarnevesht said: "Triller has become one of the most important platforms in music today, and these agreements ensure that artists and songwriters across Universal Music Group have full access to the global Triller ecosystem."

Details of the new licensing deal were not disclosed.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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LA Tech Week: ADUs, Legacy Roadblocks and the Landscape for LA's Booming Proptech Startups

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech Week: ADUs, Legacy Roadblocks and the Landscape for LA's Booming Proptech Startups
Photo by Decerry Donato

Los Angeles has seen a rise in property technology (proptech) startups emerging over the last few years and the smaller players are beginning to take shape.

On Monday, at its home base in Culver City, 3D printing construction company Azure Printed Homes hosted a proptech meetup to kickstart L.A. tech week. A group of budding proptech founders shared successes, struggles and advice with those seeking to start their own companies. Renee Eng, anchor of Spectrum News 1 SoCal, moderated the discussion. Zuma co-founder Kendrick Bradley along with The BuildClub CEO and founder Stephen Forte shared the stage with Azure Printed Homes’ Ross Maguire.

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