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'Black Is King': How Beyoncé stopped the world with new visual album [social media analysis]

Inspired by her album, The Gift for Disney's retelling of the classic movie The Lion King, American artist, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, delved deeper into the Disney film and worked with a number of international directors and artists to create a visual album filled with creativity and grandeur that was rooted in African culture.
'Black Is King': How Beyoncé stopped the world with new visual album [social media analysis]

With over 370,000 global social media mentions on Black Is King between 28 June and 15 August 2020, Meltwater - the global leaders in media intelligence - tracked social media mentions on the hashtag to analyse how Beyoncé has, yet again, managed to infamously ‘stop the world’ with her artistry.

Social media mentions on Black Is King

When Beyoncé released the trailer for the upcoming visual album on 28 June 2020, there were over 27,000 global social media mentions on Black Is King, as fans began to mark their calendars for 31 July 2020, the release date for the visual album on Disney+ .

With a total social media reach of 277 million people on the day that the Black Is King trailer was released, online users began to gear up for the visual album that Beyoncé wrote, directed and executively produced.

Global social reach vs social volume of Black Is King social media mentions between 28 June and 15 August 2020
Global social reach vs social volume of Black Is King social media mentions between 28 June and 15 August 2020
click to enlarge

On 31 July 2020, the day that Black Is King was finally released, a total of 878 million people, worldwide, were mentioning the visual album on social media. The United States of America was the top country to lead the social media conversation, followed by Brazil and South Africa.

Global heat map of Black Is King social media mentions between 28 June and 15 August 2020
Global heat map of Black Is King social media mentions between 28 June and 15 August 2020
click to enlarge

In the days and weeks following the release of the trailer, Black Is King has since been received positively from social media users, who have praised Beyoncé for not only collaborating with numerous African artists to create the visual spectacle, but also for the diversity and representation of a variety of African cultures portrayed in the film to tell the story of a young king.

Some social media users, however, did not share the same positive sentiments on the visual album. From mentions on how users felt the music was ‘subpar’ to others calling Beyoncé ‘racist’, these have been some of the contributions to the negative sentiment that Black Is King has received since the trailer was released.

Global sentiment, in percentage, on Black Is King social media mentions
Global sentiment, in percentage, on Black Is King social media mentions
click to enlarge

“Let Black be synonymous with glory.”

In a similar fashion to her previous visual album, Lemonade, Beyoncé lends her voice to narrate the story of a young king throughout Black Is King, presented to audiences in a chronological way and with titles revealing the theme of each section of the film.

While there were predetermined themes for this film, trending themes from social media mentions to emerge from Black Is King included:
  • ‘Black supremacy’ and ‘white butler’, which refers to these keywords mentioned in this tweet about Beyoncé getting called out on Instagram
  • ‘masterful way’, which refers to online fans of the artist praising her for artistic abilities in bringing a visual film, such as Black Is King, to life
  • ‘Black woman’ which refers to this tweet from a Twitter user who praised Beyoncé for writing, producing and singing in the film


Global trending themes on Black Is King social media mentions
Global trending themes on Black Is King social media mentions
click to enlarge

While online users have called the visual album controversial in its portrayal, Black Is King has also created a global conversation about the glory of Blackness, African culture and the ‘search for home’.


With a number of visually significant moments in both the trailer and the film, a moment of glory came from a number of social media users within the African continent who recognised artists from their home countries being featured in Black Is King. South Africa led online mentions on ‘Black Is King (38%), followed by Ghana and Nigeria respectively.

African heat map on Black Is King social media mentions between 28 June and 15 August 2020
African heat map on Black Is King social media mentions between 28 June and 15 August 2020
click to enlarge

South Africans were especially proud to see artists such as Moonchild Sanelly, Busisiwa, Nandi Madida and Connie Chiume, while Beyoncé celebrated Ghana in the “Already” music video that played during Black Is King.


Once again, Beyoncé has managed to make the world stop in the wake of releasing a new visual album.

Black Is King delivered a visual spectacle that not only reimagined the story, and lessons, from Disney’s The Lion King, but took viewers on a journey rooted in a rich African history. Social media users have since responded positively to Beyoncé’s creation of a film that celebrates Black excellence and the world can only hold their breath to see what Beyoncé may create next.

For a free demo of the Meltwater platform and ad monitoring capabilities, click here.

Source: Data gathered by Meltwater between 28 June and 15 August 2020.



About Meltwater

With 20 years of experience in the field of online media monitoring, Meltwater is a global leader in media intelligence and social analytics solutions, helping to bridge the gap between public relations, communications and marketing departments with an all-in-one solution powered by AI-driven insights. Over 30,000 of the world’s most respected brands rely on Meltwater to help inform their marketing and communications strategies and executive decision-making.

With over 55 offices across six continents, Meltwater is a truly global partner with local customer success teams. Meltwater also supports the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (Mest), a nonprofit organisation devoted to nurturing future generations of entrepreneurs.

For more information, follow Meltwater on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or visit www.meltwater.com

19 Aug 2020 11:20

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