Verzuz may have never joined the Triller Network had Apple Inc. got its way.
According to Bloomberg, the tech giant had shown interest in acquiring the webcast series during their previous partnership. Insiders claim Apple never engaged in a bidding war but presented a purchase price that was ultimately rejected. Sources with knowledge of the matter did not specify the amount that Apple had offered, but it’s safe to assume it was lower than what Triller had paid.
Verzuz was launched by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland in March 2020 and has since become a cultural phenomenon. The livestreaming series features some of the biggest names in music going head-to-head in a battle of hits. Artists like Raekwon, Ghostface, Gucci Mane, Ashanti, Keyshia Cole, and E-40 have appeared in the series, as well as hitmakers like Scott Storch, Mannie Fresh, Babyface, and Teddy Riley.
Several months after its debut, Verzuz and Apple Music signed a deal in which the battles would simultaneously stream on the Verzuz Instagram account and the Apple Music app. The partnership ended after Triller acquired the series for an undisclosed sum.
“This is a momentous occasion not only for Verzuz and Triller but the music business as a whole,” Swizz and Timbaland said in a joint statement to Complex at the time. “By putting Verzuz in the Triller Network ecosystem and expanding the Verzuz brand to be side by side with the powerful Triller app, we will be able to continue to grow and evolve the music business as a whole, as we have been doing. To have partners in Triller who share our vision, specifically to celebrate and elevate the amazing artists who continue to shape culture around the world and give the consumer more direct access, is game changing.”
According to Bloomberg, the Verzuz acquisition would’ve expanded Apple Music’s social component—an area it has struggled with over the years. There was Apple Music’s Connect platform, which tried to unite fans with artists, as well as the iTunes social network Ping, both of which were short-lived.
Representatives for Apple and Verzuz have yet to comment on the report.