Triller and Times Music Announce Partnership

Short-form videos sharing app and TikTok rival Triller announces a global licensing partnership with Times Music, one of India’s biggest Record Labels.

Hi Everyone,

The streaming wars that we often talk about in various editions of Incentify’s daily newsletter seem to be heating up.

Short-form video-sharing app Triller, founded in 2015 and headquartered in Los Angeles, California with a global presence, recently announced a global licensing partnership with Times Music, one of India’s biggest record labels.

Triller relies solely on organic growth and has more than 140 million downloads, with celebrities like Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Marshmello, Roddy Ricch, and Eminem regularly using the app to create their own music videos.

Times Music, with its catalog of roughly 56,000 songs and strong presence in the Punjabi music and regional genres of India, boasts of popular Indian artists signed onto their Record Label, such as Papon, Shreya Ghoshal, Ammy Virk, and Classic Ghazal legend Jagjit Singh among many others.

So why is an American short-video sharing app, and TikTok rival partnering with an Indian record label?

Triller has ambitious plans for the Indian market. Ever since TikTok was banned from the Indian market on 29th June 2020 by the government as part of the wider crackdown on Chinese applications, Triller has been quietly poaching the top-level executives from the Indian TikTok team.

Raj Mishra, TikTok’s first employee in India & their Country Head joined Triller as their Head of Operations for the Indian market back in August 2020, along with Rohan Tyagi, who was Associate Director of Marketing and moved into a similar position at Triller.

They now boast a team strength of roughly 100 people and are going aggressive into convincing creators and influencers to switch over to Triller and fill the void left by TikTok, which was the defacto app used by short-form video content creators in India.

In fact, ByteDance’s TikTok, for which India was its biggest overseas market, having more than 611 million downloads and accounting for about 30 percent of its total global downloads, completely shut down its India operations in February 2021, after a lack of clarity from the Indian government over the path to its revival.

Instagram jumped on the opportunity presented by the ban at TikTok’s expense, by introducing their short-form video feature on August 5th, 2020, just a week after TikTok was banned. While most of the TikTok creators have shifted onto Instagram, Triller seems to be catching up.

Having announced strategic alliances with JioSaavn, one of India’s largest music streaming applications, in August 2020, and Saregama India Ltd, India’s oldest and one of the most popular Record Labels, Triller has shown that it means business when it comes to the Indian market.

What’s our take on this?

Instagram has some pretty serious network effects, and it has a 9-month headstart on Thriller with its Reels product, having practically catered to the entire TikTok creator economy post the ban.

Despite lofty ambitions, it remains to be seen whether or not Triller can disrupt the advantage of Instagram when it comes to short-form video content.

This is surely an interesting battle to keep an eye on in the Media streaming space.

Incentify is building to try and incorporate the concepts of Decentralisation and Crypto into the Music streaming space as well, and eliminate the issues around revenue sharing with middlemen such as Record Labels and Streaming Platforms.

Till then, enjoy our content as we write on all things Business and Tech in the Music and Entertainment space, and feel free to get in touch with us if you would be interested to contribute to our project in any manner!

Originally published at




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