The title may not be appropriate, the content may even be considered pathetic! But the fact remains that profit opportunities open up for entertainment industry as celebrities die, mostly for singers and actors.
Mourning by fans is natural, as it is by other celebrities in the industry. The continuous media vigil for a few days spikes the personal brand recall by fans. In the process, new fans could be created who used to hate him/her, and less loyal ones might suddenly become hard-core loyal because of compassion and sorrows. It is about being human at the end of the day, isn’t it?
Here comes the industry that has to make a living by aligning with viewers and fans to keep their revenues flowing. It is about meeting customers’ demands, getting along with the market trend, that is. We already know that Michael Jackson “earned” over US$ 1 billion since his death. In addition, over 50 shows were cancelled all over the world, and fans did not want a refund because they wanted to keep the tickets as souvenirs. What happened to Prince’s albums lately? Currently, in Amazon’s digital music store, 19 of the 20 best-selling albums as of April 22, 2016, belong to Prince. The 20th place goes to Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller”. The top-seller appears to be the album “The Very Best of Prince”, followed by the “Purple Rain” and “Sign O’ The Times”. Same happened to Robin William movies after he committed suicide in 2014. The top 12 DVDs at amazon.com consisted of Robin William movies that hardly saw any place in the top-50-list before the event. There was also a surge in piracy as amazon.com was not able to offer a variety of older movies, thus peer-to-peer “experts” showered Robin’s fans with torrents!
There are other socio-psychological consequences as well, particularly when celebrities commit suicide or face unnatural deaths. In 2014, the suicide helpline (a free counseling line for those who feel like to suicide, but seek professional counseling) was flooded with calls from people who wanted to do it, most likely triggered by the news of Robin William’s suicide at that time. Real fans, whoa!
So the next time we face another sad event, industry needs to be ready with enough supplies to meet the market demand. Death of a celebrity may not mean the death of business.