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Michael Jackson's Death Spurs Online Frenzy

(Update adds photo gallery and information on the impact on Web-search tools by Jackson's death.)

Michael Jackson's unexpected death has spurred a downloading frenzy today -- and could give a boost for online music providers like (AMZN - Get Report) and Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iTunes.

Remembering Michael Jackson

The King of Pop's albums filled the top slots on and Apple's iTunes on Thursday, only hours after he was reported dead. The No. 1 disc was the 25th anniversary reissue of his 1982 blockbuster "Thriller."

On iTunes, seven of the 10 top albums belonged to MJ, while all of Amazon's top 15 was occupied by Jackson or the Jackson 5.

The two music retailers quickly created Jackson-tribute virtual stores, with iTunes offering 41 albums and Amazon linking to 121 albums.

And let's not forget about the possibilities surrounding Jackson memorabilia, which could help Amazon as well as Internet auction house eBay (EBAY - Get Report).

This could also bode well for Jackson's Sony (SNE - Get Report) Music label. Jackson sold about 750 million records worldwide during his career.

It's also fair to say that is death is causing an Internet frenzy. On Google (GOOG), 50 of the 100 trending topics are related to Michael Jackson, and its Youtube video site also created a Jackson memorial page., which is owned by Time Warner (TWX), is basking in the distinction of being the first to break the news of Jackson's death.

Meanwhile, traffic on Twitter and Facebook soared moments after the announcement. Facebook's tribute page currently boasts more than 900,000 fans.

AT&T reported the biggest spike in text messages in the moments after Jackson's death. The phone company said 65,000 texts were sent every second.

Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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