Hip Hop superproducers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s Verzuz have seen some extreme success amid quarantine, and on Thursday (July 9), Nielsen Music and MRC released its mid-year report for the first half of 2020 that showed that Verzuz has been a significant boon to artists’ music streams.
The study analyzed the current state of the music in the United States examining the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that has seen tentpole events, music festivals, and tours either being canceled and postponed in addition to widespread closure of music venues.
The report showed that audio consumption had grown by 10 percent over the past year and was still trending upwards until the coronavirus hit. One standout has been Verzuz, which the study says “consistently gave participants’ tracks a boost at streaming services.”
According to the study, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott saw the most substantial jump after their sole female-fronted battle in May, with a 217 percent increase in their streaming numbers. In close second right behind them was Beenie Man and Bounty Killer’s Labor Day affair, who led to a 216 percent increase for their music catalog. Teddy Riley and Babyface were third with a 90 percent increase. Lastly, Ludacris and Nelly’s battle on May 16 raised their streaming numbers by a combined 30 percent.
Nielsen calculated the percent increase by tracking the combined number of streams for each artists’ two days before their respective battles and compared them against the number of streams the day after the battle.
On the viewership side, DJ Premier and RZA topped out at 849,000 while Teddy Riley and Babyface clocked in at over 500,000.
Meanwhile, music lovers are waiting to see who will appear next on Verzuz. Swizz and Timbaland have yet to announce the next round of battles. There’s been speculation of potential match-ups between Usher and Chris Brown (or Justin Timberlake) and Dr. Dre vs. Diddy. T.I. recently threw his hat in the ring to square off against 50 Cent or Jay-Z, but we’ll have to wait and see.