Case Study: How Sushant Singh Rajput’s Death became a Money Spinner for Content Creators

On June 8th, the mysterious death of Disha Salian went virtually unnoticed. It is only after the tragic and baffling demise of Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14, 2020 that people started connecting the dots.

In retrospect: Sushant Singh Rajput and Disha Salian’s tragic demise also became a diversion from coronavirus and all other news.

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Through this case study, DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter will examine how a dark day turned into a viable business opportunity for many.

Let’s look at what was happening in India on June 14, 2020

Audience mood: Bored by the constant flood of COVID19 news and Rajasthan election saga. Gaming and binge-watching of webseries was at an all-time high.

Media Mood: Dull, uninteresting news made its way in our lives through newspapers, news websites and television channels.

The 7:30 am News Digest on June 14, 2020 by Hindu and other news media spoke about:

  • India may have under-counted cases of Corona
  • Kapil Sibal accused government of taxing people with fuel prices
  • PM Modi’s analysis of Coronavirus
  • Rajasthan’s political crisis
  • Dr. Reddy’s, Syngene and Zydus Cadila to make Gilead’s remdesivir an anti-viral drug
  • Shops opening in Srinagar after 83 days
  • Nepal armed police release an Indian man
  • Supreme Court to hear Vinod Dua’s plea for quashing FIR
  • Gavaskar’s statement on the IPL

Among this list, there was a long list of stories on corona virus updates. That same afternoon, the news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise shook the nation. 14th June 2020 became a dark day for us all.

The definition of a content creator has now gone beyond just news media, blogs, newspapers and literature. The gamut of content creators is far bigger.

As the news (read saga) of his death unfolded, one saw a multi-pronged mesh of content creators who scrambled for eyeballs. The turning point came when the conspiracy theories of Sushant and Disha’s death started doing the rounds. It reached the peak when top actors, politician’s names got dragged in it. The parallel probes by ED, CBI and NCB gave more masala to content creators. Audience followed the content on all the platforms and thus increased eyeballs spurred content creators to create more and more content around the topic.

Sushant Singh Rajput and Disha Salian’s death, Rhea Chakraborty’s indictment by media and suspicion of the involvement of big names got the eyeballs.

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Here are the various platforms and types of content created:

  • Newspapers: Reports, feature stories and columns
  • Television Channels: breaking news, hourly updates and heated debates, sting operations and more heated debates
  • OTT platforms: Movies of Sushant Singh Rajput, best songs of Sushant
  • YouTube:
    • Listicles (best movies of Sushant, best songs, best pictures, best quotes)
    • Old Videos & interviews (Sushant’s best moments, victim nepotism, chivalry, home videos)
    • Conspiracy theory videos
    • Videos on the analysis of the news channel’s claims
    • Self-proclaimed bearers of truth who made startling revelations – every day (rehashed content presented differently)
    • YouTube LIVE with various self-proclaimed experts
  • Blogs did the same as YouTube, in text form
  • Instagram – infographics, memes, videos, posts, stories, opinion polls, IGTV videos, Insta LIVE
  • Twitter – Twitter trending activity, crowd funding for their initiatives using Sushant as the anchor copy
  • WhatsApp – Photos of Sushant’s dead body, memes on all those involved, conspiracy theories, group discussions
  • Facebook Groups – Many groups demanding justice for SSR mushroomed overnight. These groups regularly discuss and share content from all the above sources.
  • Reddit, Pinterest – Memes, photographs, discussion threads
  • Facebook Pages – A flood of Facebook pages demanding Justice for SSR were created overnight. These pages feature photos, links and other content from the above platforms.
Nearly 41 lakh Google search volume for the Search Term: Sushant Singh Rajput from June 14 to September 15, 2020.
Source: UberSuggest

Uber Suggest shows that nearly 41 lakh searches for the Search Term: Sushant Singh Rajput on Google.

What this means: 41 lakh people searched for this term on Google – these many people were interested in finding out more about the actor from Google Searches. These all translate as eyeballs for content creators.

The above figures are from Google Search only. We have not included search volume from Bing, DuckGoGo, Facebook, Yahoo, Instagram and other search engines. Adding up those figures would lead to mind-boggling numbers.

Google Trends analysis of 5 search terms from June 14 to September 15, 2020.
Source: Google Trends

What this means: The topics associated with Sushant Singh Rajput got equal if not more prominence. More and more people indulged in associated searches around his death.

Here are some examples of the videos with the highest views on YouTube associated with Sushant Singh Rajput. 
Source: YouTube
Here are some examples of the videos with the highest views on YouTube associated with Sushant Singh Rajput.
Source: YouTube

Advertisers go where the eyeballs are and this case has provided that to the platforms. Viewers want the masala and content creators are dishing it out in the most entertaining manner.

Advertisers are getting their audience, and content creators are getting their money. No one’s complaining. 🙂 :).

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Along with the views, check out the associated searches at the bottom of this image. 
Source: YouTube
Along with the views, check out the associated searches at the bottom of this image.
Source: YouTube

Content Creators are having a field day!

Given the Corona Virus pandemic, the lockdown and dismal news from all corners, viewers had moved from news to OTT platforms and games. Content creators were having a tough time in getting audiences to their platforms. Advertising budgets were running dry because of the lockdown so the share in the pie was lower for content creators and higher for OTT and gaming platforms – because that is where the eyeballs were during the lockdown.

Sushant’s tragic demise paved the way for content creators to make money from advertisers by getting more and more eyeballs on their content.

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We all know that most social media platforms are monetised, newspapers and news channels get money from advertisers. With more eyeballs coming to a particular platform one sees advertisers making a beeline for precious spots.

Some YouTubers openly embed donation links and others monetize their live streams or videos to make money. News channels shrink the screens and put ad strips around the content. They give uninterrupted news but embed the advertisements in this clever manner. Log in to any news website or YouTube channel, chances are that it will force you to see an ad before going to the content you wish to see. Web banner ads, strip ads, cover photos, roadblocks – almost every property by content creators is being sold to advertisers who are hungry for eyeballs.

Do you believe this statement? Let me know your views!

What do you think? Share your opinions, suggestions below.

Penned by:

Mayura Amarkant

Here are some articles & case studies I have written on the mysterious death of Sushant Singh Rajput:

  1. How did the rumour start: The story of a viral Facebook post that led to Mass Slander of Minister Aaditya Thackeray
  2. Twitter explodes with reactions when Rhea Chakraborty was arrested by NCB for drug possession and distribution | Sushant Singh Rajput Death Case
  3. How Rhea’s PR team is manipulating SSR Warriors and the Public | #JusticeForSSR
  4. Was FAU-G Game stolen from Sushant Singh Rajput’s computer?
  5. Akshay Kumar trolled for launching FAU-G Game
  6. FAU-G Memes
  7. FAU-G Consipracy Theory
  8. Tracking transformation of Rhea Chakraborty from a scared kitten to a fearless vixen
  9. What are the ‘A-listers’ of Bollywood doing while #SSRWarriors demand #JusticeForSSR
  10. Case Study: How should Rhea Chakraborty’s PR Team manage the image crisis?

Disclaimer:

Dear Readers, I, Mayura Amarkant, Founder of DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter have written the above article based on my experience as a Crisis Manager, having managed large-scale national crisis for brands and individuals. Indo-global SME Chamber recognised me for my work in the form of a national-level award as a Woman Business Leader in Digital Marketing and PR. The views expressed above are completely my own. This is NOT a sponsored or paid post. The intention of the above post is to make people think and deliberate on the topic. It doesn’t make any direct or indirect allegations on the involvement of any party in the SSR Case or otherwise. The information depicted above is from the public domain.

Copyright

©MayuraAmarkant. This article is the property of DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter. Any unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mayura Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

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