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Instagram music battles drawing attention from television networks

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Instagram music battles drawing attention from television networks (Instagram screenshot)

WASHINGTON (SBG) -- As the nation quarantines due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, creativity on social platforms such as Instagram has reached exponential heights.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, two of the most well-known producers in music, decided to take advantage of everyone staying at home by starting an Instagram Live battle series. Musicians and producers compete face-to-face against each other and play the 20 best songs they've ever produced over the course of a couple of hours.

No winner is officially declared but the court of public opinion weighs in with their picks through comments left by viewers on the Instagram livestream as well as Twitter.

The two founders of the series, known unofficially as "Verzuz," were the show's first participants. Other artists and producers who have battled it out on the popular live stream include T-Pain, Lil' Jon, RZA, Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch.

In an interview with TMZ, Timbaland says the Instagram accounts for networks such as Netflix, BET and Vice have taken part in the stream leaving comments alongside other viewers.

Despite the attention, the producer isn't sure about moving the battle show to television until the pandemic has subsided.

"A lot of people come to me and Swizz with a lot of things but right now we just want to keep it for the culture because it's so organic. We don't want to bring that part of the element in right away," Timbaland told TMZ. "We just want to keep it where people are entertained because we live in a world where 16 million people lost jobs. We don't want to get into all the politics of it. We want to keep it natural and fun. And then later on as life continues and we get out of this pandemic we can further discuss where we go with it."

Ja Rule and 50 Cent have been speculated as two artists who could be the next contestants on the social media battle show.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz aren't the only celebrities experimenting with Instagram Live during quarantine.

DJ D-Nice was the first prominent figure to gain major traction after going viral in late March with a live stream of himself DJ'ing music while encouraging viewers to stay home. Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Janet Jackson were among the numerous celebrities watching the DJ's feed which reached over 100,000 viewers.

Other musicians such as R&B singer Tory Lanez and famed record label owner Diddy have also reached hundreds of thousands of people on Instagram Live with special broadcasts. Lanez broke the record for most Instagram Live viewers at 310,000 while Diddy raised over $3 million through his stream to help health care workers in New York.

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