Short-Form Video Platform Triller Creates a New Virtual World

Triller, a short-form video sharing app acquired in 2019 by Hollywood financier Ryan Kavanaugh’s Proxima Media, is launching a platform called Metaverz for immersive experiences ranging from sports and concerts to social events that take place “past the velvet rope” in virtual nightclubs populated with influencers, creators and celebrities. Right now, the company is previewing a video that showcases what looks like basic video game graphics, although Triller is touting a partnership with Singapore-based Epik, a blockchain-focused firm described in the Metaverz announcement as “a leading global platform for AR/VR and gaming experiences.”

The website for Epik lists Tencent, Universal, Warner Music and Sony Music among its partners and brands. “Entering the metaverse strategically positions Triller at the forefront of several compelling trends, including Web3 and decentralization,” Triller CEO Mahi de Silva says in the announcement.

“Although Triller faces an uphill task in competing with the likes of Meta and TikTok, the company has already demonstrated its ambitious plans after cancelling a $5 billion merger with video content provider SeaChange in favor of an IPO scheduled to take place during Q4, 2022,” writes NFT Gators.

E-commerce — including NFT collectibles and virtual goods — are part of the plan, along with memorabilia and event tickets. The platform will feature its own digital currency, called Illr Bucks, that can used to make purchases, according to Reuters.

Metaverz “will operate at the intersection of music, sports, gaming, and live events,” according to Triller, whose content includes “Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship” and music from its Verzuz music franchise.

The first Megaverz event, scheduled for October 22, is a free concert featuring Dutch DJ and producer Sam Feldt performing at the Amsterdam Dance Event. Feldt, whose European celebrity is documented on Yahoo News, will be after-partying in avatar form at Metaverz’s virtual nightclub.

Feldt’s performance “is one of 2,000 events Triller and its subsidiaries plan to host in the next year,” writes Reuters, noting the majority “will happen in the real world and in Metaverz.” “We’re carefully curating all our events and experiences, so people understand what they’re doing,” Metaverz head Christopher Taurosa, adding, “it’s not like you walk around aimlessly … You get to engage around an event.”

Metaverz will be accessible via a browser on any Internet-connected device. Unlike competing platforms, such as Meta’s Horizon Worlds or Sansar’s Nexus, it does not appear Metaverz will be optimized for VR in its early days. Triller and Epik say they will in the future jointly “launch multiple games within the Metaverz,” including in partnership with leading game companies.

The Metaverz trailer shows snippets from digital content Epik has worked on as well as Triller’s TikTok-like videos. As of now, features only a placeholder for the Feldt event.

Triller Still Plans to Go Public, Los Angeles Business Journal, 10/10/22
Triller Raises $310 Million in Funding Round Ahead of IPO, The Wrap, 9/29/22
TikTok, Rival Triller Agree to Drop Patent Dispute, Reuters, 9/26/22
Triller and Music Producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz Settle Lawsuit, Los Angeles Times, 9/22/22

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