Jamaica Observer: Sunday, May 31, 2020 – Last week’s online musical clash between dancehall heavyweights Beenie Man and Bounty Killer as part of the Verzuz series is already paying dividends for the deejays.
In what has become known as the Verzuz effect, both acts have been recording impressive streaming figures in the run-up to the event and in the days since.
Using preliminary reports from Nielsen Music/MRC Data, American music publication Billboard magazine is reporting that the deejays who were once sworn enemies, earned their highest numbers for 2020.
“Both acts achieved their single-day streaming high of the year on Sunday, May 24, likely as fans revisited and recapped the show after its Saturday night clash drew 500,000 viewers. Beenie Man pulled 622,000 US on-demand streams on the 24th, while Bounty Killer registered 256,000 clicks. The former had yet to break the 300,000 daily mark in 2020, while the competition pushed the latter north of the six-figure threshold for the first time this year,” Billboard noted.
The figures revealed that Beenie Man’s most streamed tune was Girls’s Dem Sugar with a total of 219,000, followed by Who Am I (75,000), King of the Dancehall (64,000), Dude (62,000), and Romie (48,000).
“Beenie Man’s totals on both the battle day (May 23) and following day (May 24) give him 906,000 US streams, a 187.5 per cent increase from his 315,000 streams in the two days preceding the event. Bounty Killer, too, experienced triple-digit percentage growth. His catalogue accrued a combined 367,000 US on-demand streams on May 23 and 24, compared to 94,000 in the two days before, a surge of 291 per cent,” the magazine reported in an article.
Living Dangerously was Bounty Killer’s most streamed song for the day of and the day after the clash. His top five songs were Look (27,000), Benz & Bimma (25,000), Suspense (21,000),and Worthless Bwoy (13,000).
The live stream of the Verzuz clash drew an audience of 470,000 viewers at its peak, with an overall estimated audience of 3.7 million over the course of the near three-hour event. Over one billion impressions were registered during the live event. The clash also topped the trending statistics on Twitter and was reported on by mainstream, international media outlets including CNN.
The Verzuz effect showed itself in the major clash between neo-soul songstresses Erykah Badu and Jill Scott on May 9.
Like the Jamaican duo, the combined streams of both American artistes rose significantly in the days prior and subsequent.
According to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, they collectively pulled 6.7 million US streams on the day of and day after for their total song catalogues, compared to the 2.1 million streams on the Thursday and Friday ahead of the show.