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If you have listened to nothing but “Running Up That Hill” since the fourth season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” debuted, you’re just like tens of millions of other people. The 1985 song, which is featured in the fourth episode of the season, has surged to the top of Spotify’s charts since the season was released, has gone viral on TikTok and is making an entirely new generation of music lovers fall in love with British singer-songwriter Kate Bush.
It also doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, according to Parrot Analytics’ talent demand tool, which measures the demand for any notable talent in the arts, entertainment, sports, media and creator spaces via consumer research, streaming, downloads and social media, among other consumer engagement.
Demand for Bush was hovering at less than 20 times the average demand of all other talents in the United States before “Stranger Things” returned. That’s still notable, putting Bush in the “good” category, which 6.7% of all talent reach. After the series premiered, however, Bush jumped to nearly 70 times the average demand of all other talent in the U.S., putting her in the “exceptional” category, which only 0.2% of talent reaches. Since then, she’s hovered around 60 times the average demand, still in the “exceptional” position.
It’s an impressive feat, and just goes to show how vital TV series and TikTok play in brand longevity and fan awareness for singers in a highly competitive age. When comparing demand for Bush to Olivia Rodrigo, who recently won an MTV Movie Award for her “Drivers License” documentary on Disney+ and who also had songs go viral on TikTok, Bush is actually outperforming demand for Rodrigo as of last Wednesday.
Demand for Bush is also entirely in line with demand for the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” which saw exponential growth over the last few weeks. What’s most interesting is that demand peaks for “Stranger Things” perfectly match the demand peaks for Bush. This signifies that as people finish “Stranger Things,” or finally jump on board to watch the season after so many TikToks and memes, a small bump in demand resurgence also occurs for Bush.
In fact, Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” has kickstarted conversations on sites like Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr and others about the best uses of a song on a TV series. There are testimonies from fans of various TV shows and movies about finding their new favorite track via a TV show (for example, we vividly remember hearing Death Cab for Cutie for the first time on “The O.C”), and how “Stranger Things” led them to listen to other favorite songs that appeared in a piece of visual entertainment.
Naturally, however, what goes up must come down. Bush’s demand will likely drop off faster than “Stranger Things.” What the opportunity does provide for, however, is for Bush and her label to take advantage of the newfound fame and potentially rerelease an album, for example, or negotiate for her songs to be used in other projects or, even, a special of some kind of really capitalize on the massive surge in demand.
For all the beauty that “Running Up That Hill” added to the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” the show’s fame has also done something beautiful in return for Bush.