Brow Beat

Michael Jackson Streaming Numbers Show Fans Are Sticking With Him

A poster of Michael Jackson with scribbles on it.
A poster of Michael Jackson is covered with messages from fans at a one-day tribute on July 9, 2009. Robyn Beck/Getty Images

Michael Jackson’s music has not seen a dip in streaming plays since the release of Leaving Neverland, the New York Times reports. Prior to the documentary’s premiere, Jackson’s popular solo catalog saw 16 million to 17 million U.S.-based streams each week. But in the wake of the broadcast on March 3 and 4, many were left wondering whether the renewed accusations of molestation would deter the artist’s usual listeners.

So far, the numbers show that Jackson’s music is as popular as ever, with last week’s streaming numbers reaching 16.5 million on services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, according to Nielsen reports. Even when analyzed by individual day, streaming numbers remained static: In the three days following the broadcast, daily plays hovered between 2.3 million and 2.5 million. The songs “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller” remain the top picks.

Despite Jackson’s stable streaming popularity—no doubt bolstered by wedding DJs’ insistence that he will continue to dominate reception playlists—the pop artist has been receiving less airtime on the radio. While stations once played Jackson songs around 2,000 times per day, the numbers began to decline slowly in February as buzz surrounding the documentary mounted. In the days since Leaving Neverland’s broadcast, radio numbers have dropped dramatically to only about 1,500 plays per day.