Spears Reigns Again on Internet
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Just as Internet users were beginning to lose interest in longtime Web wonder Britney Spears, a few sexually provocative magazine covers and a famous smooch with Madonna propelled the pop princess back into favor.
Yes, it’s that time again — when Lycos, America Online and Yahoo! each weigh in with their end-of-year statistics and, as was the case last year and the year before, Spears managed to claw her way near the top of the lists of the most searched-for celebrities.
Until Spears started promoting her new album with a flurry of attention-getting stunts, highlighted by her Sapphic excursion at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, the singer actually fell off Lycos’ top-10 list of search terms for several weeks, spokesman Aaron Schatz said. Ultimately, though, she finished in the No. 2 spot overall at Lycos for the year, right behind song-swapping service Kazaa.
At Yahoo! she finished sixth on the overall list of searched-for terms, with one celebrity ahead of her: Eminem.
Yahoo! also reports that the search term receiving the biggest percentage gain year-over-year is, no surprise, Paris Hilton, she of online sex-tape fame. Yahoo! says searches for her went up a mere 212,000%.
Over at AOL, the biggest topic online was the war in Iraq, judging from activity at the Internet service provider’s many message boards.
Following the war was politics in general and, in particular, the Democratic party primaries, the California recall election and “The Reagans” miniseries. Celebrities and their scandals also were hot, with Rush Limbaugh, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson leading the way.
Reality TV also was popular on AOL message boards, led by “American Idol” and followed by “Survivor,” “Paradise Hotel” and “Big Brother.”
Apparently, threesomes are quite popular on the Internet, according to Yahoo! The company’s list of the most-searched movies is led by the Harry Potter soon-to-be trilogy, and more. It’s followed by “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Matrix” trilogies, with “Spider-Man” and “8 Mile” rounding out the top-five searched-for movies.
And Lycos is predicting, based on its growing number of searches, that the movies “The Passion of the Christ,” “Troy” and “Catwoman” will be hits.
Speaking of feature films, “Finding Nemo” has the dubious honor of being probably the year’s most downloaded movie at peer-to-peer file-sharing services, according to the firm BayTSP. And surprisingly, BayTSP reported, the Miramax film “Shaolin Soccer,” which hasn’t even been released in the United States, was hugely popular.
Garnering an immense amount of short-lived attention was Al-Jazeera, the Arabic cable news network, which generated three times as many search queries in April than did the word “sex.” Driving the interest in Al-Jazeera in March and April was the fact that its Web site featured video of American prisoners of war, Schatz said.
The top TV shows searched for, according to Lycos, were “American Idol,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Simpsons” and “Survivor.” The top sports stars were Bryant, Anna Kournikova, Michael Jordan, David Beckham and Allen Iverson.
Nielsen/NetRatings is reporting that the top online brand, judging from statistics culled from the first 10 months of the year, will probably be AOL, narrowly outscoring MSN and Yahoo!
Spears Reigns Again on Internet