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Prince Per Click
A look at the link-baiting, branded content, and social media posts in the hours after the rock star's passing.

It’s been 7 hours and several days since Prince’s passing took over the internet. Social newsfeeds turned purple with not only heartfelt tributes by fans, but also self-centered ads, clumsy branded content, and a lousy marriage of broadcast media and social. Here are some low-lights.

 

Prince Link Bait

If you’re already tired of the link-baiting teasers that suck the life out of your screen, then the fresh round of Prince headlines made your weekend even worse. We instantly saw garbage links like “9 songs you didn’t know Prince wrote,” “You won’t believe what will happen with Prince’s will,” and “What police found in Prince’s basement is shocking.”

These sites and their Facebook pages got a quick spike in traffic and a bunch of clicks. Congratulations. But they won’t get this kind of traffic again until someone as popular as Prince dies again. Good luck with that. Many of these sites are not even music, celebrity, or pop culture sites, but sadly are “news” sites that have exposed that they have no original content, only poorly curated links.

 

Brand Content

Tributes poured in from brands – some good, some bad. I generally don’t like posts surrounding a celebrity death or tragedy. There’s not much upside. Is anyone really going to say “Wow, General Mills is my kind of company. They think Prince dying is sad too! Quick, buy more Cheerios!”

And most of the brands’ postings are clumsy at best and overall lousy with a few exceptions. Adweek shared a good complete list here.

 

Celebrity Tweets = Lazy Journalism

Prince’s death has brought out the laziest aspects of TV News. Instead of delivering anything new or different, they just show what other celebrities have tweeted or posted about the celebrity who has died. Justin Timberlake and Mick Jagger are talented guys too, but the nice things they say about Prince are neither news nor interesting (unless someone says something terrible).

Also, thank God for CNN and The Today Show showing us what other people said on Twitter. I don’t know where else we would find such information! Glad they have massive global news operations to repeat what you could have seen on your phone instantly!

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