Ryan Kavanaugh, the billionaire film producer, has made a name for himself as a visionary across multiple entertainment industries, including film, television, and sports, and his latest foray into social media is no different. Since his company Proxima Media acquired the AI-powered social media music video platform Triller in 2015, Kavanaugh has been working tirelessly to not only expand its reach and usability, but break new ground.
Triller, which has had over 250 million downloads to date, has exploded in usership since Kavanaugh came on board. Triller has gained attention for both its introduction of Crosshype and the app’s refusal to embrace censorship in a time where most social media platforms are doing exactly the opposite. Crosshype is Kavanaugh’s innovative brand growth program that helps determine a Triller campaign’s value in cost per thousand views with a calculabe cost per impression. However, even more impressive than innovations like Crosshype, Kavanaugh has leveraged his entertainment connections to pull off an incredible event.
On November 28, Triller hosted Tyson on Triller, an epic pay-per-view, live-streamed event featuring an 8-round match between boxing icons Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, Jr. For just $49.99 (about half the price of an in-person UFC event), viewers had access to the Tyson vs. Jones main event, musical performances by Lil Wayne, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa and YG, and Ne-Yo, and six other undercard matches, including Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson and Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan. The event provided commentary by boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard, as well as current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Back in May of 2020, Kavanaugh saw a video Mike Tyson had posted to his Instagram of himself training in the boxing ring, and the idea was born. After getting in touch with media mogul Sophie Watts, who was working with Tyson at the time, Kavanaugh began laying plans for what would become the launch of live events on Triller.
Kavanaugh, well-connected to all branches of the entertainment industry from his past business endeavors, cashed in on his celebrity contacts to create a multi-faceted event with broad appeal to many different generations and interests.
The event took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and although they could not sell physical tickets due to current Covid-19 restrictions, the event brought in 300,000 ticket purchases, and streamed on TysonOnTriller.com and Fite.TV. Although the Triller app itself did not host the event, it generated income through sponsorships, advertising and selling merchandise, and the Triller logo was smartly displayed prominently throughout the event. Triller users also had access to exclusive content, such as a docu-series showing Tyson and Jones preparing for the fight, that was posted by the headliners as well as the other fighters.
According to Kavanaugh, this event is just the start of a new form of entertainment users can expect from Triller, with plans for many live, virtual concerts from top musical acts in the works that would sell viewership for a few dollars each. This innovative way for consumers to experience live events comes at a time when the public needs it most, as no one is sure when large-scale events will once again be able to safely accommodate live audiences.
On the event, Kavanaugh stated, “We want this to go down as one of the most epic events in history. We want this to go down, where people are remembering how we brought together the culmination of boxing, live music concerts, celebrities, influencers, social media and content all into one event, where the first time in a very long time, a son and a daughter, a mother and a father, a grandmother and a grandfather can all be watching the same thing and say I love this. There’s something for all of them, like a generational bridge so to speak. Those don’t exist anymore.”
Once again, the challenges caused by the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 have sparked innovation that will undoubtedly make lasting changes to how we consume live entertainment now and in the future, and Ryan Kavanaugh is at the forefront.