Swizz Beatz: Gucci Mane-Jeezy ‘Verzuz’ pulled more views than most music shows

Matthew Allen
·3 min read

‘Our culture has made us the top show in the world for music outside of The Grammys,’ Swizz Beatz says

Season two of Verzuz picked up where season one left off, with lots of viewers.

Last week, the popular online music battle series that emerged during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic returned last week in Atlanta with rappers Gucci Mane and Jeezy facing off.

Swizz Beatz, the co-creator of Verzuz, said that the numbers were so high that they eclipsed ratings for several primetime music shows this year, posting a graphic full of stats on Instagram to show off the results from the Thursday event.

The numbers are impressive. The showcase garnered an estimated 9.1 million total viewers, including 5.5 million views on Instagram, 2.3 million on Apple Music and an unofficial count of 1.3 million through YouTube and Facebook streams. The show was at times both comical and intense, given the two Grammy-nominated artists’ history of beef.

Gucci Mane (left) and Jeezy (right)
Gucci Mane (left) and Jeezy (right)

The battle pulled more than 7 million impressions, which tallies the total amount of times social media users saw a particular content, though it differs from reach because it considers exposure and those who click or engage in the content. It was also the Verzuz battle most tweeted about, topping the reception from previous matchups like Patti LaBelle vs. Gladys Knight and Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, among others.

“As we saw across the country, there was a new phenomenon of Verzuz viewing parties, so that figure is not including those who gathered in large numbers together,” said Swizz Beatz, who launched the music series with fellow producer Timbaland.

“This viewership number from last night actually makes Verzuz bigger in ratings than the MTV VMA’s, NBC’s The Voice, the Billboard Awards, the CMA’s, the Latin Grammy’s, Dancing With The Stars or The Masked Singer respectively on any given night for those primetime shows this year,” Swizz Beatz’s post read.

According to Swizz Beatz, the Gucci Mane vs. Jeezy battle got higher ratings than MTV Video Music Award’s, NBC’s The Voice, the Billboard Awards, the Country Music Award’s, and Dancing With The Stars, “respectively on any given night for those primetime shows this year.”

READ MORE: Gladys Knight & Patti LaBelle earn their best career streaming numbers thanks to Verzuz

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards in August recorded 1.32 million viewers. Thursday’s Verzuz had 1.8 million concurrent viewers alone. Deadline reports that the season premier of The Voice had 7.96 million viewers. The 2020 CMA had 7.1 million viewers, according to Variety. According to tvseriesfinale.com, the highest-rated episode of the latest season of Dancing With The Stars was its September season premiere with 8.1 million viewers.

“Our culture has made us the top show in the world for music outside of The Grammys,” Swizz Beatz wrote. “Thank you infinitely!”

The 2020 Grammys had 18.7 viewers, according to Variety.

READ MORE: Snoop Dogg, DMX compete during Verzuz, Apple Music battle

Prior to Thursday, the highest-rated Verzuz was season one’s penultimate installment featuring Grammy-winning singers Brandy and Monica, which had over six million total viewers in August, according to their official Instagram. Like Gucci Mane vs. Jeezy, the Brandy and Monica episode was tinged with tense energy due to an on-going feud.

Gucci Mane and Jeezy ended their Verzuz by performing their first and only collaboration together, “So Icy,” a song that sparked their feud over 15 years ago.

The two men called a truce at the end of the event.

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