Old Michael Jackson Story: Traffic Snarls the Web. New Michael Jackson Story: Look at Our Traffic!

Published on June 26, 2009
by Peter Kafka

crowdRemember all those stories about Web sites buckling under the weight of all that Michael Jackson traffic? Here’s the flip side, now being promoted by those same Web sites: Look at all of our Michael Jackson traffic!

I’ve seen stories touting big traffic spikes at Time Warner’s (TWX) TMZ, which broke the story; Wikipedia, which apparently was flooded with Wikipedians squabbling over the details of Jackson’s demise; and Gawker, which lives for this sort of thing. At some point, the man-bites-dog story will be a site that doesn’t report a huge spike in Jackson traffic.

In any case, here’s the latest one I’ve seen: Yahoo (YHOO) boasting that Jackson’s demise has been its good fortune. Here are the data, per Yahoo PR:

Yahoo! News:
· Yahoo! News set a record in unique visitors with 16.4 million UV’s in a day. Our previous record was on election day when we had 15.1 million visitors.
· Yahoo! News had 4 million visitors come to the site between 3-4 pm, setting an hourly record.
· Yahoo! News recorded 175 million page views yesterday, our 4th highest day after the Inauguration and Hurricane Ike.

Front Page:
· On our front page, the story “Michael Jackson rushed to hospital” was the highest clicking story in our history. It generated a whopping 800,000 clicks within 10 minutes and news of his death saw 560,000 clicks in 10 minutes. Also, the news area on our front page experienced five times the amount of traffic it normally receives.

Yahoo! Music
· Yahoo! Music’s blog post on Michael Jackson has generated 21K comments in under a day.

UPDATE: Here’s some boasting from CBS’s (CBS) Web group. Happy to keep adding to this if anyone else wants to do a little chest-beating.

· Since the news broke, saw a huge surge in users streaming music tracks by Jackson. On average, users were streaming 43,000 Jackson tracks per hour. The Michael Jackson artist page has received heavy traffic with more than 30 page impressions per second as fans log on to pay their respects to the pop icon. The traffic for the artist page continues to increase, and the site continues to see more than 45 times the normal traffic.

· reported record traffic for June 25, with an increase that was close to double compared to the previous week. Prior to yesterday, the record for high traffic was held on May 5 when the site shared revealing photos of former Miss California Carrie Prejean.

· Within 12 hours of the announcement, saw 100% aggregate growth over the same day last year as fans turn to for breaking news about the tragedy, as well as to link to and THE EARLY SHOW for their streaming coverage.

· traffic tripled during the hour in which Jackson’s death was officially announced (3 p.m. PACIFIC/6 p.m. EASTERN) on June 25 as people turned to the site to learn more about the circumstances involving his death.

And yes, this is the third Michael Jackson post I’ve written today. Which gives me an opportunity to embed a third Michael Jackson video. This one is the intro to the “Jackson 5ive” animated series from the 1970s, procured by our eagle-eyed Beth Callaghan. Enjoy.

[Image credit: Library of Congress]

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