Last week the music world lost a very big talent in Linkin Park’s lead vocalist Chester Bennington. The tragic news struck a chord with rock and music fans all over the world. Linkin Park were by far the most successful band to come out of the late 90’s and early 00’s Nu-Metal movement. Their debut album Hybrid Theory, released all the way back in 2000, has become one of the most successful debut albums of all time and the band would go on to make more ground-breaking albums like Meteora and Minutes to Midnight. The band also released a collaboration EP with rapper Jay Z called Collision Course in 2004. The band was best known for their heavy rock guitar electronica sound which was also fused with elements of Hip Hop and appealed to mass audiences. The scale of success Linkin Park experienced was unlike that of anyone else in their genre, but in the last week, the band has been streamed nearly twice as much as they were before on Spotify. Why’s This? The Death Effect.
The Death Effect is a phenomenon where the consumption of goods related to a celebrity increases after the event of their death. The phenomenon is not just specific to Chester Bennington and Linkin Park, artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, David Bowie and Biggie Smalls have all seen increases in the consumption of their music after their deaths. To measure this phenomenon with regard to Linkin Park I recorded the amount of monthly listeners the band had on Spotify on the day of and every day after his death for one week. The results can be seen below.
Day 1 is the 20th of July (The day of Chester’s death) and the band had just over 11 and a half million monthly listeners. As time went on the tragic news of Chester’s death broke and gradually made its way to the ears of the public via various media platforms and people started to play his music in tribute to him or perhaps just because the sad news reminded them of how good a band Linkin Park are and this lead to an increase of their monthly listeners. Finally, on day 7 the band had over 18 million monthly listeners.
The idea behind the Death Effect is that even though the death of any celebrity is disappointing, it does (unintentionally) act as a form of publicity and advertising due to the amount of coverage the band and Chester will get on the news and exposure they will receive on social media platforms. Artists like One Republic, Chance the Rapper and Jimmy Kimmel paying their respects to Bennington on Social Media also played a part in contributing this phenomenon.
As tragic as Bennington’s death was, let us just take some good news from it in that maybe some people who never heard of the band finally get to listen to their music.
By Daragh O’Leary