Babyface & Teddy Riley’s ‘Verzuz’ Battle Songs Double in Streams

Babyface and Teddy Riley’s #Verzuz battle on Monday night (April 20) via Instagram live yielded some significant streaming gains for the 49 tracks that encompassed the long-awaited showdown.

From initial reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, the 49 titles collectively registered 3 million on-demand audio streams in the U.S. on April 21, the day following the late-night session, compared with a cumulative 1.4 million haul on the 20th, a day-over-day surge of 115%. The #verzuz impact becomes even more obvious when measuring the post-battle results to more preceding days: On April 16 and 17, the tracks pulled 1.3 million on-demand audio streams, while the number rose to 1.5 million each day for April 18 and 19.

Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk” – a Babyface production – earned the highest streaming sum on the day after the showdown. The 1993 hit, a former three-week No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 9 success on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, clocked 232,000 on-demand audio streams, up from 110,000 the day prior (up 110%).

Below “Talk,” the next two highest streamed songs for the day belong in the Riley camp: Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” featuring Dr. Dre (173,000) and SWV’s “Right Here/Human Nature” (128,000). Babyface rounds out the top five with two of the 1990s biggest hits: Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” (101,000) and “End of the Road” (100,000).

As did many artists whose songs featured in the Instagram Live, Campbell offered running commentary, including a tweet that “Talk” is “a song about stalking but it works every time.” that climbed to over 100,000 likes.

In terms of big day-over-day gains, other streaming highlights for Team Riley include Guy’s “Piece of My Love,” which rose to 89,000 on-demand audio streams from 29,000 (up 203%) and the Hi-Five’s 1991 Hot 100 No. 1 “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game),” which jumped to 83,000 streams from 29,000 (up 186%).

Team Babyface, meanwhile, can count winners in Campbell’s “I’m Ready,” which climbed to 86,000 streams from 27,000 (197%) and two of the legend’s own tracks: “Soon As I Get Home,” which rose to 81,000 from 17,000 (+363%) and “Whip Appeal,” up to 89,000 from 38,000 (+133%).

One more for Babyface: Toni Braxton’s “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” which he introduced with an anecdote about Michael Jackson attempting to ask Halle Berry on a date, yielded 74,000, up 493% from 12,000 the prior day.