While film franchises like The Hunger Games and far lesser television shows pimp exclusive songs from popular artists in order to gain cred, the cultural event called Breaking Bad only plays kingmaker where musical cameos are concerned. It's no secret that the AMC drama's finale went out on the cool and crunchy grooves of Badfinger's 1971 song "Baby Blue," whose lyrics were about as on-the-nose as it comes for a series about a blue drug that goes up one's nose.
As previously noted, day-after reports from Spotify saw the song's in-service streams rise a whopping 9,000 percent, but the bigger picture is even more staggering. According to Nielsen SoundScan, which is the same service that provides Billboard with its chart data, U.S. streams of "Baby Blue" were up over 20,000 percent by the end of Monday, September 30, the day after Breaking Bad's final episode aired. That number includes Spotify, Rhapsody, Slacker, AOL Radio, VidZone, Rdio, and Xbox Music.
What's more, digital song sales of Badfinger's final Top 20 single leapt 2,981 percent. Sunday night following the show's end, the track was purchased 5,300 times — it'd racked up 200 buys the previous week. Also, other songs from the Beatles-backed band blew up: "Without You" saw a 261 percent rise in sales; "Day After Day" rose 134 percent; "Come and Get It" gained to the tune of 81 percent; and "No Matter What" was boosted by 78 percent. Badfinger's total digital songs haul for the night was up 656 percent.
Nielson promises full week sales numbers and airplay data on Wednesday, October 9.