Ryan Kavanaugh Was Never Willing to Give Up on Himself

Ryan Kavanaugh Was Never Willing to Give Up on Himself

When other entertainment industry executives wrote Ryan Kavanaugh off after he had to close Relativity Media in 2016, it only strengthened his resolve to make a big comeback. He had a few false starts over the next few years before striking it big with Triller.

Kavanaugh was one of the co-founders of the social media video-sharing app and a minority shareholder before 2019. He decided to take a leap that year and become Triller’s majority shareholder. That decision has brought enormous benefit to Triller, now the second largest video-sharing app in the world behind TikTok.

Kavanaugh’s Infusion of Capital Increased Triller’s Value from $130 Million to $1.25 Billion

Ryan Kavanaugh has always seen a lot of promise in Triller, even though the app did not have a large budget to help it expand. The first thing he did when becoming the majority shareholder in 2019 was invest $28 million in attracting new influencers and musicians. He also invested in worldwide advertising.

A short time later, Kavanaugh woke up to the news that Triller was the most downloaded app in 51 countries. The news of its increasing popularity was exciting enough before Triller received what amounted to free advertising from President Donald Trump on July 31, 2020. By talking about privacy concerns with TikTok and how he wanted to ban the Chinese-developed app in the United States, Trump prompted millions of people to check out Triller for the first time.

New Talent and More Users Led to Kavanaugh Branching Out with Content

Within hours of Trump’s announcement to reporters about TikTok while aboard Air Force One, people flocked to Triller to sign up for a new account. Media personalities, singers, and social media influencers also inquired about forming partnerships with the video-sharing app. Kavanaugh saw this as an ideal time to expand what the app offered. He also had several artists express interest in investing in the company.

By January 2021, six months after Trump called for a TikTok ban in the United States, Kavanaugh had raised $100 million on behalf of Triller and bumped its business valuation to $1.25 billion. With more capital available, he expanded the sports division of Triller to include the Triller Fight Club. The fight club broadcasts live boxing matches that also feature other entertainment acts. Fans pay $49.99 per download. The capital infusion also made it possible for Kavanaugh to create Triller TV that features 30-minute live entertainment broadcasts and pre-recorded shows.

Ryan Kavanaugh knew that he needed to bring some big names to the Triller platform, and he did that when he persuaded Charli D’Amelio and Josh Richards of the Sway Boys to leave TikTok. D’Amelio alone has 90 million followers on that platform. Saying that Kavanaugh has made an amazing comeback just might be the understatement of the decade. He understands how people want to consume entertainment and what they want to see, then he makes it happen. Other entertainment industry executives would be wise to observe his example.