Prince is dead: the social media numbers behind the grief

Prince Rogers Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, is dead aged 57. The singer, producer, actor, and all-round entertainer passed away on Thursday after being hospitalised with flu last week.

Unsurprisingly, fans around the world took to social media to express their grief at the loss of the global mega star.

And they have done so in incredible numbers.

“In the hours since the announcement there has been an outpouring of support, respect and heartbreak over the news – totalling over 3.5-million social media responses. Or, said otherwise, 60 a second,” said Kelvin Jonck, MD of YouKnow Digital.

At a high level, the social media analytics firm says, the vast majority of the conversation pertains to general information sharing about his death and sadness at the loss. Digging deeper though, there is a considerable volume of conversation relating to various songs and memories.

Topics from 2016-04-20 to 2016-04-22

Given Prince’s stature as an artist, it should hardly be surprising that the conversation around his death has been truly global. The largest percentage of the volume has come from the Americas followed by Australia. South Africa saw 315 social engagements per million citizens during the period covered by the data.

World Posts per Capita (per million) by Country from 2016-04-19 to 2016-04-21

Interestingly, when you dig a little deeper into the conversation, 31% of the conversation is related to reporting or sadness relating to his death. A much greater percentage, around 51%, is related to memories and giving thanks for specific songs (with many individuals and radio stations putting his songs on in honour of the legend.)

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Daily Opinion analysis trend from 2016-04-20 to 2016-04-22

Of all the songs mentioned by consumers, the 1986 Grammy winning, Kiss came up first (included in almost 30% of all mentions, a sizable 1 045 880 mentions) followed by the iconic Purple Rain (12%).



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