Streams of Nickelback’s 2005 song “Photograph” have increased 38 percent ever since Donald Trump tweeted a video with the song playing in the background, and the tweet got dinged for copyright violation, Yahoo Finance reports.
Back in the aughts, Nickelback recorded the song and then released it as the first single from their ’05 album All The Right Reasons. The song, which bears no relation to the 1983 Def Leppard hit of the same name, tore up the U.S. and U.K. charts for a few weeks.
Fast-forward to October 2019. Following news that Donald Trump purportedly asking the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, Trump tweeted a doctored video showing Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger holding a photo of former Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and two other men, one of whom was labeled, “Ukraine gas exec.”
Trump captioned the tweet “LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH,” quoting the song’s first line, as well as portions of the music video.
However, Twitter, like almost all social media platforms, is zealous about making sure that copyrighted material isn’t posted on their site. And in this case, Warner Music Group, which holds the copyright to the Nickelback video, sent a takedown notice. The tweet is still there, but the video is gone, so viewers who see Trump’s tweet now see a caption urging them to look at a video that isn’t there.
LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH! pic.twitter.com/QQYTqG4KTt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019
Nickelback Cashes In – Sort Of
“No publicity is bad publicity,” as the old saying goes, and the Canadian rockers are learning that lesson in the best possible way ever since the Twitter debacle.
Over on streaming services, where you can listen to the song without having to buy it, there’s been a double-digit percent increase in the number of people listening to “Photograph.”
When the numbers on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple’s streaming service are crunched, they reveal that 772,000 people listened to the song in the days following the Twitter incident, a 38 percent increase.
Downloads of the song have increased by 569 percent in the two days following the tweet. Although to be fair, that hasn’t amounted to much in raw numbers: the total number of downloads of the song amounted to only around a thousand downloads.
— Nickelback (@Nickelback) October 7, 2019
This is actually not the first time that Trump had tweeted copyrighted music and wound up with the music being removed. As Buzzfeed News reported at the time, back in April Trump tweeted a video that contained music from the score of the movie The Dark Knight Rises. The copyright holder complained and that video, too, was taken down.