Ryan Kavanaugh Pulls Off a Stunning Comeback No One Saw Coming
Becoming the majority shareholder of Triller in 2019 was the beginning of an incredible comeback for Ryan Kavanaugh. He had long held an interest in Triller, a social media and video-sharing application, as one of its co-founders and a minority shareholder. After life threw him a series of curveballs that included business closure and bankruptcy, Kavanaugh soon found out how much he needed Triller and Triller needed him.
A New Beginning Leads to Success Beyond Kavanaugh’s Expectations
Kavanaugh’s future as an entertainment industry executive looked bleak and uncertain after he had to shut down Relativity Media. He had little choice after he was unable to gain full commitment from his business partners and OneWest Bank pulled its funding. Kavanaugh also could not afford to lose any more money after having spent $100 million in capital in 2015 and 2016 attempting to save the company.
The next few years brought additional disappointments from failed business deals. Even so, Ryan Kavanaugh is nothing if not determined and he refused to give up. He already had a plan to take Triller in a new direction even before he became the majority shareholder. Once he had the authority to implement his decisions, he wasted no time in doing so.
Attracting Talent from Triller’s Top Competitor
TikTok, which originated in China and quickly became the world’s largest video-sharing service, is a huge competitor to Triller. Although Triller became the second-leading video-sharing social media app under Kavanaugh’s leadership, he is not content to rest on his laurels. The first change he implemented was convincing two of TikTok’s top social media influencers to come on board with Triller. Charli D’Amelio came to the platform with 90 million established followers and Josh Richards of the Sway Boys was not too far behind.
Kavanaugh faced one major problem when trying to get major influencers to work with Triller. He did not have much cash to offer them at the time, so he had to get creative. He offered the new Triller influencers rent-free living in one of seven spacious homes. Four of them are in California, where Triller maintains its offices in Los Angeles. The other three are in Atlanta, Florida, and New York. The influencers also received free use of a leased luxury automobile, with D’Amelio choosing to drive a Rolls Royce.
Triller Fight Club Becomes Its Most Unique Offering
In November 2020, Triller Fight Club premiered its debut boxing match between Mike Tyson, age 54, and Roy Jones, Jr., age 51. Kavanaugh took a gamble that bringing the aging boxing stars back into the ring would stimulate interest in the sport from younger demographics who did not grow up watching them.
Kavanaugh also added other boxing matches and live entertainment to the broadcast, a format he intends to follow every other month. Attracting tens of millions of viewers at $49.99 per view has been a profitable venture for Ryan Kavanaugh and Triller, but it is just the first of many he plans to implement.