Michael Jackson by the Numbers

In death, as in life, he shattered records. Here's by how much.

July 6, 2009— -- 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.

AT&T, Yahoo, AOL Report Record Activity

65,000 -- The number of text messages per second sent on AT&T's network. The company said it was the largest spike in its history. Normal SMS traffic at that time is about 40,000 messages.

4,000 -- The number of Michael Jackson-related images posted to the photo-sharing site Flickr within the first 24 hours of his death.

40 – The number of minutes AOL's AIM instant messaging shut down the evening of his death. The service was undergoing a previously scheduled software update, but the company said the spike was unparalleled. "Today was a seminal moment in Internet history. We've never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth," the company said in a statement.

25 – The number of minutes people searching on Google News for information related to Michael Jackson received a "We're Sorry" message before being directed to the pages they were looking for. The company didn't disclose concrete figures but said the spike was one of the biggest in its history. Visitors received the error message because the volume of Michael Jackson searches was so great, the system mistook it for an automated attack.

9 – The average number of seconds it took to download major news sites, according to San Mateo, Calif.-based Keynote Systems. Keynote monitors the performance of Internet and mobile networks and said beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET, the average speed for downloading news sites doubled from less than four seconds to almost nine seconds. In the same period, the average availability of sites that they monitor dropped from almost 100 percent to 86 percent. By 9:15 p.m. ET, performance returned to normal.

5 – The number of mobile Google searches out of their top 20 that were about Michael Jackson the night of his death. The company said it saw one of the largest ever spikes in mobile searches.

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