Is The Web No Longer Gaga for Gaga?

Posted January 31

Yesterday, Spin magazine reported that Lady Gaga’s online search popularity has been on a steady decline since May 2011, opining that Mother Monster has “bored the Internet.” But while we may not be Googling Gaga at the same rate we used to, is the queen of social media still engaging her fans online? Has her rise to stardom hit a plateau? Yes and no.

A quick look at her Wikipedia stats would bolster the suggestion that the once meat-clad songstress is not on an upward trajectory. That being said, the online encyclopedia is often the first result to pop up in when someone looks up an artist on Google, driving much of the traffic. Translation? A decline here makes sense given the trend in languishing searches.

However, she also attracted a lower number of new Facebook Page likes. In the 19 months since the alleged decline in interest began, Gaga saw a 26% drop in new fans, compared to the previous period. This number should also be contrasted with a benchmark figure of a near 200% increase for top artists. (However, we should take into account here Facebook’s recent eradication of “fake” Likes, which cost Gaga thousands of phantom fans. Still, that loss amounted to only 0.29% of her total fans, so some of those folks were obviously leaving of their own accord.)

Activity on Twitter is a different matter altogether. Here, where her total of more than 33 million followers puts her second only to young heartthrob Justin Bieber, she still sees an overwhelming amount of activity. Almost 24 million of her Twitter fans have followed her since May 2011, more than 70% of her total, and she is still on the rise: In the past month alone Gaga gathered close to 100,000 new followers, a 10% increase from the month before.

2012 was — socially speaking — not as strong a year for the outspoken, candid, and oft controversial artist. Despite consistent news coverage and an overwhelmingly vocal fan base, she saw a close to 60% decrease in both new Facebook fans and VEVO video views from 2011. However, all was not lost: She did see a 52% increase in new Twitter followers, and ranked fifth in new Instagram followers and 34th on VEVO views just last week, despite it being more than a year and a half since her last release.

Lady Gaga is currently on a North American tour dubbed The Born This Way Ball and is set to release her upcoming album ARTPOP in 2013, which will more likely than not cause a renewed surge in interest for the singer.

One might argue that the decline in Google searches for Lady Gaga could have several explanations. It may simply be attributed to over-saturation. If we Google to learn more, and everyone already knows about an artist, then a decline is to be expected.

In short, it’s not quite time to be concerned about Mother Monster languishing in obscurity just yet. Call us when there’s a “Who Is Lady Gaga?” Tumblr on the scene.

Photo Credit: By Jimmy Johansen via Wikimedia Commons

Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Hypebot and more.