Our love affair with celebrity continues, as evidenced by news today from Yahoo that it served about five million streams of the Michael Jackson Memorial ceremony. That makes it the most streamed event in Yahoo’s history, surpassing the inauguration of President Obama in January, when Yahoo served 1.8 million streams.
While watching the event online, many viewers were also searching for information about the people involved. People not watching a live stream were looking for videos of what they missed. Yahoo says it saw spikes in searches for
- Elvis Presley’s funeral
- the casket company that made Michael Jackson’s casket
- Jackson’s daughter, Paris, and video of her speaking
- Brooke Shields and video of her eulogy
- names such as Pastor Luscious Smith, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Shaheen Jafargholi, along with other Jackson family members and friends
Most of the searches listed on Google Trends are also Jackson-related, and many mirror the types of queries Yahoo reported. A Google News spokesperson says search activity today was “significant, but not to the same extent we experienced the day he passed.”
Meanwhile, a Facebook spokesperson says there was plenty of interest in the Jackson ceremony there, too, but not as much as during the Obama inauguration. There were about 800,000 status updates related to the live coverage of today’s memorial, far less than the 1.8 million status updates on inauguration day with the word “Obama.” Facebook points out, though, that the inauguration was widely publicized for months – much longer than the Michael Jackson ceremony today.