No puppet strings were needed to send Metallica fans – and newbies – to their favorite streaming destinations to hear more of “Master of Puppets” after the song was used for a climax in the season finale of “Stranger Things.”
In the week since the episode’s premiere, on-demand streams for the 1986 metal classic are up 650.3%, according to Luminate, which collects data for the Billboard charts.
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That compares the six-day period from July 1-6 to the comparable six-day frame from the previous week. The capper “Stranger Things” premiered on Netflix in the early hours of July 1st.
In the first six days of the previous week, Master of Puppets had accumulated 1,020,333 on-demand audio and video streams. In the first six days, the show was available to stream, and that number rose to 7,655,536.
The percentage increase was even greater for digital track sales, although these are a minimal force in the music industry today, with a 999% increase over the same period.
Interest in the song appears to be growing rather than peaking immediately, as daily numbers show streaming activity stretched from Friday, the day the episode premiered, to Wednesday, the final day that data from Luminate were available was steadily increasing every day.
How was the radio play increase? Not nearly as extensive, which might keep “Master of Puppets” from having the same sort of comeback on the next Billboard Hot 100 chart that Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” had due to its presence in “Stranger Things.” Season. That’s to be expected since such a hardcore metal song has less potential appeal in pop or alternative formats than the Bush oldie.
The total number of spins for the song increased by just 25.5% over those six days on the radio, from 188 the week before to 236 since the episode premiered. Audience impressions rose 14.7%, from 508,000 who heard the song on the radio before the show to 583,400 after – suggesting that many of the rock stations that might be inclined to play “Master of Puppets” as an oldie, probably already programmed it anyway.
Looking at the stats for scheduled streaming services, the percentage increases were impressive too, although not nearly as large as for on-demand streams. Scheduled stream counts increased 96.8% from 100,904 to 198,538.
Interest in “Master of Puppets” should continue to be significant, with many potential viewers still tuned into the season finale, and Metallica themselves fanning the flames of the song’s popularity with positive mentions on social media. On Friday, a week after the episode premiered, Metallica even released a TikTok video that showed the group in a split-screen “duet” with the show’s brave metalhead character Eddie Munson, who saves his friends and wards off demons , distracting her with his own shredding rendition of “Master”.
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