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Despite controversy, Michael Jackson still a streaming Thriller


iStock/ Feodora ChioseaThose who were hoping that Michael Jackson would be canceled didn’t take into account his popularity on streaming services.

As Billboard notes, following the release of the controversial HBO documentary Leaving Neverland –– in which two men accused Michael of abusing them as children — radio stations in Canada and New Zealand pulled Michael’s music from the airwaves. Meanwhile, MJ airplay on U.S. radio stations declined by just over 32% in the 31 weeks following the documentary’s debut.

However, Billboard reports that during that same 31-week period, on-demand steams of Michael Jackson’s songs increased by just over 22%…a bit more than the growth rate of the rest of the streaming industry.

A number of radio stations tell Billboard that they’ve now added The King of Pop back to their playlists, with no listeners complaints, while some dance clubs never stopped spinning MJ’s hits in the first place. 

All this is good news for the Michael Jackson Estate, which is rolling out an MJ musical next August. In addition, as previously reportedly, December sees the release of a 10th anniversary limited-edition box set version of the MJ documentary This Is It.

The star’s Halloween favorite “Thriller” is expected to once again find its way onto Halloween playlists at the end of this month, though it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the song is as popular as it has been in past years.

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