Michael Jackson by the Numbers


Even in death, the King of Pop continues to shatter long-standing records.

From the moment the world learned the tragic news, the volume of people converging on the Internet was so great it nearly put major news, search and social networking sites out of commission.

In the following days, as fans searched for information, listened to music and exchanged memories, the online activity only continued to build, breaking records for Web site traffic and digital downloads.

"It was a global event. The impact was felt around the world at the same instant, a moment in time that led to absolutely everyone in the world going to the Web," said Peter Cashmore, founder of the social media blog Mashable, about Michael Jackson's death.

Though other celebrities died that week, none had the same international appeal as Jackson, he pointed out.

"That's what kind of pushed it over the edge," Cashmore said. "For a moment at least, it put a strain on the Web."

As fans continued to mourn and celebrate the star, the impact on the Web continued to reverberate out to every corner of the Internet. Here's a look at the numbers that tell the story.

Music Industry, Internet Companies Report Records

9.8 million -- The number of queries for the terms "Michael" and "Jackson" across the top 25 search engines and news and social media sites in the week ending June 27, according to Web analytics firm Compete.

6 million – The approximate number of fans in the Facebook group "Michael Jackson" as of Sunday evening. Less than an hour after Jackson's death had been confirmed, more than 500 groups remembering Michael Jackson appeared on Facebook. As of Sunday evening, the fan page R.I.P. Michael Jackson (We Miss You) had attracted more than 3.5 million fans.

2.6 million -- The total number of downloads for Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 music in the week following his death, according to Nielsen's SoundScan. The previous week's total was 48,000. Jackson became the first act to sell more than 1 million song downloads in the first week, according to Billboard. Gene Munster, an Apple analyst for Piper Jaffray, estimates that in the three weeks after Jackson's death, iTunes alone will register 14 million to 15 million downloads of Jackson songs.

Traffic Generated by Interest in Jackson Strains the Web

1.6 million -- The number of online registrations for tickets to Michael Jackson's Tuesday memorial service, according to the Jackson family.

800,000 -- The number of clicks generated within 10 minutes by Yahoo's front page story, "Michael Jackson rushed to the hospital." According to Yahoo, it was the highest clicking story in its history.

422,000 – The number of Michael Jackson solo albums sold in the week after his death, according to Billboard. Compare that to the 10,000 sold in the week prior. Of the 422,000 total, 57 percent were digital.

100,000 – The number of Michael Jackson songs being streamed on MySpace Music every 10 minutes in the hours after his death, according to trade publication AdWeek.

66,500 -- The number of messages sent the evening of June 25 on Twitter that included "Michael Jackson" before Twitter crashed under the volume, according to Mashable. Mashable used the Twitter tracking tool Twist to determine that about 30 percent of the tweets sent that evening were related to Michael Jackson's death.

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