Apple Inc. aimed to purchase the livestreaming music platform Verzuz before the business was acquired in March by the video network Triller, suggesting the technology giant still wants to develop a social music offering.

The Cupertino, California-based company showed interest in acquiring Verzuz, and while the iPhone maker didn’t engage in a bidding war, it did provide a price for Verzuz that ended up being lower than what Triller paid, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private.

Created by rappers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland — and backed by dozens of other popular artists — Verzuz lets users livestream rap battles and other musical showdowns. The competitions, friendly ones between performers, stream on Instagram and became particularly popular during the downtime brought on by pandemic lockdowns.

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Verzuz was acquired by Triller for an undisclosed price. If Apple had bought it, the service could have offered additional content and more social elements inside of Apple Music.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment. A spokesperson for Verzuz’s co-founders didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

When it launched, Apple Music had a Connect social network for uniting fans with artists, but the feature was discontinued after a few years. Several years ago, Apple also launched an iTunes social network called Ping, which also quickly failed.Apple agreed to a deal last July to have each rap battle streamed live on Apple Music and Beats 1 at the same time as the Verzuz Instagram Live channel. The Triller deal marked the end of that partnership, Variety reported in March.

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