Talk of Whitney Houston’s death has been everywhere, and hard to avoid, since it was first announced last Saturday night. It began with Twitter, and grew from there, with nearly every form of media impacted.
Twitter helped spread the news of Whitney’s death with 2.5 million tweets in the first hour. Also online, the topic dominated Google searches. In addition, Whitney Houston’s Facebook page was overwhelmed with comments.
The day after her death, the Grammy’s were scheduled to air. With the recent news, tributes were quickly added to the program, and it paid off. Ratings for the show were boosted, and the show averaged 39.9 million total viewers, the most since 1984 when Michael Jackson performed “Thriller.”
Houston’s impact on media continued into the next day when TV news magazines also experienced ratings boosts. On the Monday after the Grammy’s, every news magazine ratings rose.
Twitter came in to play again later, when the NJ Governor, Chris Christie, used Twitter to defend his choice to lower flags to half-mast in honor of the NJ native.
On the retail side, Whitney’s album sales soared in the wake of her death. More than 100,000 albums and 900,000 individual tracks sold in about 24 hours of her death. Her digital album sales jumped 17,000% for her greatest hits album. Her song “I will Always Love You” was played 2,137 times on Sat and Sunday on broadcast radio stations across the country.
Many of the music channels on cable also played Whitney Houston videos over the weekend.
And now, despite the ceremony being closed to the public, fans will be able to access the event online. The AP has been granted permission to stream the ceremony live.
Whitney Houston may not have been in the public eye much lately, but her death certainly catapulted back to the forefront.