Was the Beatles on iTunes worth the ten year wait and the thousands of hours of negotiation? Probably not, but Beatles songs and albums are still selling pretty damn well now that they’re finally available, even if they’re not really setting any sales records.
Speaking to Billboard, Apple has released some sales figures for the Beatles from their first week on iTunes.
According to Apple’s internal metrics, the Beatles have sold two million individual tracks so far. Of those two million tracks, 450,000 were sold alongside the full album they were a part of, and the number one downloaded track is “Here Comes The Sun,” while Abbey Road is the bestselling album.
Not shabby for a week’s work, of course, but this is actually small potatoes in the iTunes game: in the United States, the Beatles’ entire catalog of albums only amounted to 119,000 sales… and that’s after a major advertising push on the behalf of Apple and ten years of unavailability. In comparison, Taylor Swift’s third album, Speak Now, sold 278,000 units in its first week.
So yeah, The Beatles are doing pretty well on iTunes, but iTunes never needed them, and the numbers bear that out. If anything, the Beatles needed iTunes.