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Beatles sell 2 million songs, 450,000 albums on iTunes debut

updated 03:40 pm EST, Tue November 23, 2010

Beatles hit 2 million songs in iTunes debut

(Update: more data) The Beatles's first appearance on a digital store has managed a dramatic resurgence in sales, data from Apple said. About two million individual tracks and 450,000 albums were sold on iTunes in the first week. Information collected by Billboard gave 1969's Abbey Road the lead, both as the top-selling album and for "Here Comes the Sun" as the top-selling song.

Other albums from the group are known to have infiltrated both the top 10 and the top 100, led mostly by compilations like the Box Set, 1962-1966 and 1967-1970.

Update: The US accounted for 119,000 album sales and 1.4 million individual songs. About 13,000 of the $149 Box Set moved in the country but only counted as one album each. No other individual artist is believed to have had as many song sales on iTunes in a new-to-digital release, as Eminem's "Not Afraid" was next-closest at 379,000 in its first week; Led Zeppelin managed 300,000. In 2010, the best week of whole album sales for an artist was Taylor Swift's 278,000 copies of Speak Now.

Critics had raised concerns about the likely success of the Beatles on iTunes, since earlier CD rips and the 2009 remasters left many already owning one or more albums that they could have since ripped to digital. The results instead suggested that many had either been unwilling to go for physical copies or that a newer generation of listeners hadn't been exposed to the band before.

The sales could be a wound to Amazon MP3, Zune Marketplace and other stores that have lost out with Apple's exclusive into 2011. Most music buyers tend to remain loyal to individual stores, but those not attached may now have much less reason to buy from another store.

Apple is rumored by Billboard to be starting up its ad campaign in earnest for the Beatles on Black Friday, including both print ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as well as a wider-reaching TV commercial run.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So, where are those stupid kids who said that The Beatles would not be popular anymore? Or those who said that whoever needed to have The Beatles would have bought the CDs already? Go eat some crow!

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh No

    Yoko Ono in the RSS feed. :(

  1. CarlRJ

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In other totally unrelated news...

    Steve Jobs now owns 450,000 copies of the White Album.

    (Yeah, okay, just kidding.)

    All my Beatles are iTunes rips from my original Beatles CDs from the first release back in the 80's.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Though I'm not a kid (~50) I was sure that they wouldn't sell well. I have all the Beatles I want. I figured nobody else would be that interested in rock music from half a century ago.

    Boy was I ever wrong.

    You wouldn't have a recipe for crow au gratin would you? Roasted crow with orange glaze? Sweet and sour crow?

    I do find it very interesting that "Here Comes the Sun" was the top song.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Way to go Stoners

    I don't know who the beatles are, but judging by the photo they are obviously stoned out of their minds...good job on selling some albums.

    Next task, get a hair cut, ya retro hippies.

  1. notagain

    Joined: Dec 1969


    itunes sound

    quality is better than CD's. whatever apple is doing it works

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here comes the bucks cha cha ching cha....

    It will be money for the peopleeeee who own the libraryyyyyy. *do do de do do de do do de doooo*

    - A

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