A report posted by Bloomberg on Friday said that Apple had been interested in acquiring Verzuz before the latter was snapped up this past March by Triller. Created by two rappers (Swizz Beatz and Timbaland) and backed by others, Verzuz was known for its hosting of livestream rap battles. This would have been a typical Apple acquisition target, a reasonably valued company with a niche business that is under the radar but has a service or product that Apple can easily add as a capability for the iPhone.
Apple had plans for music platform Verzuz but missed out on making the purchase
Whatever Apple had in mind for Verzuz, the plans will have to be scratched as short-form video service Triller ended up buying Verzuz for an undisclosed price. Sure, if Apple really wanted Verzuz that much it could have started a bidding war with Triller for the service. But if mankind has learned anything over the years (besides not to flush the toilet when someone is in the shower), it is that the winning bidder in a hard fought takeover battle usually ends up overpaying and making a horrendous deal.
Short-form video app Triller ended up buying Verzuz for an undisclosed price
Those knowledgeable about what went on between Apple and Verzuz behind the scenes say that the price that Apple was willing to pay for the service was lower than the price ultimately paid by Triller to buy it. Verzuz and Apple did have an arrangement made last July to live stream on Apple Music and Beats 1 all rap battles being shown at the same time on the Verzuz Instagram Live channel.
Apple streamed Verzuz rap battles over Apple Music and Beats 1
Apple could have used Verzuz to create a community inside Apple Music, a social network focusing on music. The app also might have added additional content to Apple’s multi-platform music streaming service. Now, Apple’s choices are to create its own social network and community for Music, or find a similar app to buy.
Apple has tried and failed twice to connect Apple Music users, first with an aptly named feature called Connect that aimed to bring together artists with their fans. A few years ago an iTunes social network called Ping was quickly shuttered by the crew in Cupertino.
Rap battles that attracted large numbers of viewers on Apple Music included Snoop Dogg vs. the late DMX (over 1.4 million viewers), Brandy vs. Monica (1.8 million), and Gucci Mane vs Jeezy (over 2.3 million viewers). Apple’s deal with Verzuz to stream rap battles over Apple Music and Beats 1 ended when Triller purchased the site.