One of the hits of the Covid-19 lockdown has been the Verzuz battles on Instagram, where high-profile artists go head-to-head for… well, they’re less battles and more mutual love-ins, exchanging their hits in an atmosphere of respect.
Anyway, they’ve been hugely popular on Instagram Live: Jill Scott and Erykah Badu attracted more than 740,000 viewers at the peak of their battle in May. Now Apple Music has swooped in to sign an exclusive deal for the franchise.
From now on, each battle will be simulcast live on Apple Music and Beats 1 as it goes out on the Verzuz Instagram Live channel. Apple Music will also have the battles available on-demand after the initial broadcast.
Apple is also going to be working with Verzuz creators Swizz Beatz and Timbaland in a production role for future battles – good news for a series that has relied on artists having the necessary setups for stable livestreaming from their homes or studios – not always successfully.
Apple Music has already made available its recording of Alicia Keys and John Legend’s recent battle – the first time it simulcast with Verzuz. Next up for the series: Snoop Dogg and DMX on 22 July.