Within the iTunes Store, he accounts for 40 of the current top 100 songs, nine of the top 15 albums, and 25 of the top 30 music video downloads. Michael Jackson's passing has broken millions of hearts, but his posthumous domination of the digital music world is clearly shattering records.
The same is true for Amazon's MP3 store, in which Jacko albums account for 10 of the 25 most downloaded albums, 16 of the top 20 CD albums and five of the top 10 DVDs across all genres at the time of writing -- beating new releases such as Gran Torino and Slumdog Millionaire.
Shock! Web sites make buying music quickly very easy. Horror! Digital downloading makes it even easier still. That stuff's obvious. What's interesting is the sheer magnitude of Jackson's presence in the digital charts. Naturally, Apple didn't want to tell us he's broken any records, but it's strikingly obvious he has.
But as is the case with spikes, you can expect these sales will drop off quickly. The next number one you'll see will be his first posthumous release, a compilation album. And then perhaps his life's work will continue to be celebrated like Elvis Presley's -- an artist who, as recently as 2002, was earning 24 million post-death pounds a year from his work.