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Beatles on iTunes: 450,000 albums, 2 million singles in first week

Abbey Road 
When Apple Inc. announced last week that the Beatles’ catalog would at long last be available for legal downloading on iTunes, many skeptics groused that the two entities had come together too late: Everyone who cares about the group’s music long ago found a way to store it on their PCs, laptops or MP3 players.

Apparently not.

Apple announced Tuesday that 450,000 Beatles albums and 2 million individual tracks were downloaded during the first week they went up online. That translates to well more than $8 million spent on Beatles downloads out of the gate, using the single album download price of $12.99 and $1.29 per song. It doesn’t take into account several double albums priced at $19.99 or the digital Beatles box set that iTunes offers for $149.

At the same time the Beatles finally joined the digital world, Amazon began discounting the remastered physical CDs that were released last year, with individual albums now selling for $7.99, double sets for $11.99 and $12.99 and the 16-CD stereo box set priced at $129.99, making the tangible versions cheaper than the virtual ones. Consequently, six Beatles titles are in the Top 100 of Amazon’s ranking of its bestselling music titles as of Tuesday.

-- Randy Lewis

Comments () | Archives (15)

So, where is the announcement?

I'm wondering since this music is 40 years old or better, does it speak of how consequential the music is, or how inconsequential more recent music is?

Greatest. Band. Ever.

It has to be said: this is amazing. Even Led Zeppelin didn't come close to this with their much-publicized itunes launch. All these years later, and the Beatles are still this popular? Incredible, and further proof (if any was needed0 that they were the greatest.

Their music is standing the test of time in a big way.

It's not just boomers who bought these tunes.
Todays mainstream music lacks the creative artistry and melodic quality that most of the music of the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's did.
Of corse each decade has it's junk but not as bad as today.
The affect of hip-hop and metal on popular music has been a reduction in over-all quality of everything else.
And, I am not knocking hip-hop and metal, just stating a fact.
My best friends 15 year old daughter hates almost all of todays music and is an avid collector of all music 60's.
She says it just sounds better.
AND... she is right!

i don't know what joe is talking about as Led zeppelin are not on i tunes and never had a "much publicised itunes launch" along with AC/DC and a few others they still refuse to be on itunes

@joe, zeppelin are not on itunes, never had a "publicised launch". they still refuse the advances of itunes, not sure where you pulled that from.

Wow, one 15 year old girl likes 60's music, it must be better.

Isn't this the same crap people were saying when the Beatles first came out that music before that was so much better.

The Beatles had an amazing impact on the world. The vast majority of their output was mature, imaginative, musically interesting, lyrically provacative, and always pushed the edge. They worked at just the right time and place to be tremendously influential in Western music. Looking back in the last several hundred years, their work was at least as influential in changing the course of music as was that of Monteverdi and Beethoven. However, their cultural impact was just as great as their musical impact. I watched a documentary last night on the Beatles in the USSR. Time after time, the interviewees asserted what an influence the Beatles were on Soviet culture, even though rock & roll was monitored and censored and no Beatles records were available except on the black market or in pirated form. The respondents all said that the major impetus for the Wall coming down in 1989 was cultural and not political, and that the Beatles' influence had so much to do with that. To this day, Beatles clubs exist where people can go and perform Beatles music or hear live performances. Having lived through the 50's and 60's I can confirm that the Beatles were at the fulcrum of the changes the world went through during the "cultural revolution" of the 60's. It is difficult, at least for me, to explain how different the world was pre- and post-Beatles. You had to be there.

More good news for the Michael Jackson Estate.

@J Zep has been on iTunes for quite awhile... I don't know how you missed that.

If this isn't a statement on just how sorry today's music has become, I don't know what is.
Will anyone know (or care) who Madonna is in 20 years???

Most likely if The Beatles had gone digital a year ago, then they would have probably been the biggest selling artists during the past decade. Emenem beat them out slightly as they were number 2. Pretty amazing after all these years. But I say buy the physical box set. It's a bargain for all that music and wonderful packaging for $129. And much better quality!

Beatles are great even if we are in 2010.
Apple Inc. did a good job by putting their songs on iTunes


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