Funny Business with Jane Wells

The Jackson Memorial: The Gift That Keeps Giving


Michael Jackson's memorial was must see TV...especially on the internet. Yahoo! reports that as of 3 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday, there were five million streams of the memorial at the Staples Center, the largest streaming event in the Yahoo's history. The peak was 385,000 simultaneous streams, second only to the inauguration of President Obama, which peaked at 430,000 streams.

Like everything else on the internet, searches for one thing lead to another.

Yahoo! says during the Jackson memorial, searches spiked for Elvis Presley's funeral, as did searches for the casket company which may have made Jackson's casket.

People increased their interest in celebrities buried at Forest Lawn, where Jackson's private funeral was held (Freddie Prinze, Liberace), as well as searches for memorial speakers Brooke Shields and Paris, Michael Jackson's daughter. Yahoo! also sent us "standout misspellings": "Lusciuos Smith" (for Rev. Lucius Smith), and "hurse", "hearst", "herse" and "hurst" (for "hearse").

Most of the Yahoo! searches were to get information about the funeral, the memorial and the family, but 1.5 percent of the searches were for Michael Jackson jokes.

A couple of other tidbits:

Verizon reports a 25 percent increase in voice and data "attempts" around the Staples Center during the memorial (half of them came from my Blackberry). Nearly 90 percent of those attempts were for texting or using the mobile internet. Verizon also says its Michael Jackson tone jukebox is its best-selling jukebox ever.

Finally, CNBC producer Jeff Daniels has spent much of the past 48 hours calling various city agencies to determine their costs for the memorial. He heard back from the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation late Tuesday. The spokeswoman told him their costs were only about $60,000 for roadblocks and extra traffic officers. She apologized not calling him back sooner, but yesterday was her mandatory furlough day. Welcome to California, people.

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