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The Beatles sell 5 million songs, 1 million albums on Apple's iTunes

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
The debut of The Beatles on iTunes has proven extremely popular, with the band selling 5 million songs and a million albums solely from Apple's digital music store.

Apple revealed to The Loop on Friday that the current best-selling album is "Abbey Road," priced at $12.99, while the most popular song is "Here Comes the Sun" from the same album, which costs $1.29 individually.

The numbers show that the pace of sales has slowed since the first week of availability, when 450,000 albums were sold, along with 2 million songs. Then again, the best-selling album and song were "Abbey Road" and "Here Comes the Sun," respectively.

The Beatles catalog came to iTunes in mid-November, after a wait of more than 7 years since when the iTunes Store opened and began selling music. Apple and the Beatles' parent company, Apple Corps, were involved in a trademark dispute for years, before it was finally settled in 2007.

Earlier this month, alleged details of the contract between The Beatles and Apple were revealed, suggesting that the band is being directly paid royalties from song sales. The information suggests the royalty split could be even more lucrative for The Beatles than a standard iTunes artist contract.
post #2 of 41
I seem to remember the claim being made here that everyone had them all already (that wanted them) and they'd never sell anything yada yada yada ... just goes to show SJ knows what he's doing yet again!
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post #3 of 41
It's not exactly a grand slam, but those numbers aren't terrible either.
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I seem to remember the claim being made here that everyone had them all already (that wanted them) and they'd never sell anything yada yada yada ... just goes to show SJ knows what he's doing yet again!

Yup. Many made the claim. None will admit it.
post #5 of 41
Considering how many people probably already had the songs, I think it is pretty successful. Some people here didn't seem to think anybody would buy the Beatles on iTunes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

It's not exactly a grand slam, but those numbers aren't terrible either.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I seem to remember the claim being made here that everyone had them all already (that wanted them) and they'd never sell anything yada yada yada ... just goes to show SJ knows what he's doing yet again!

People also predicted the iTunes Music Store would fail because you can higher bitrate music without DRM at cheaper prices on a CD. Maybe its too early to tell, but I think people like the convenience of the iTunes Store.
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post #7 of 41
Not bad for a band that hasn't recorded any new music in approx. 40 years!
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Yup. Many made the claim. None will admit it.

I will. I was wrong.

Big deal.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

It's not exactly a grand slam, but those numbers aren't terrible either.

Not a grand slam!?

That's revenue of somewhere between $13 and $15 million -- basically profits -- in a few weeks, for a group that disbanded over 40 years ago!

I think it's quite stunning, actually.
post #10 of 41
On 11-16-2010, I wrote this in AI

Bitch what YOU will, ...Steve Jobs is no Dummy !!!!
All the old farts and geeks that visit here, and throughout the Geek/Tech blog-sphere, can't and won't relate to this huge announcement.

But to the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of new listeners (yes, Kid's...ever hear of that market), who would NEVER purchase an album or a CD, this will be huge.

Expect Apple (perhaps both Apples) to announce how huge the spike of Music Sales for Beatles Music can be referenced to this very date.

Yeah,
Meh to you and me (and yes, I already have all 13 albums plus much more Beatles Music in my iTunes),
But this will be a Huge Success.

SJ is no dummy.

Reference: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...25#post1753225
post #11 of 41
Seriously… the Beatles are a good group and all, but who the heck is buying all this stuff? The individual songs, okay, I can see that; but the albums? I just can’t imagine that many people have been sitting around for the last seven years saying, “You know, I really want to buy that Beatles album, but it’s not on iTunes, so I just won’t worry about it.” Or is it just a bunch of people who think it’s easier to spend $10-13 than to rip a CD they already own?

I’m really not trying to be difficult, here. I’ve just spent the last few weeks trying to understand it, and I haven’t come across a single person who has any more idea than I do.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I will. I was wrong.

Big deal.

So humble in your confession.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Not a grand slam!?

That's revenue of somewhere between $13 and $15 million -- basically profits -- in a few weeks, for a group that disbanded over 40 years ago!

I think it's quite stunning, actually.


Think what you like, but compared to the Beatles's track record of sales this is simply average. After all, the band has had 26 certified multi-platinum albums (sales of 2 million), 41 platinum albums, and 47 certified gold albums. A grand slam would be something like 10 million albums. They may reach those numbers eventually, but it's probably a long way off since sales are apparently slowing.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

It's not exactly a grand slam, but those numbers aren't terrible either.

Platinum status in a month? Tell that to every artist in the world. I'm sure they'd like to have music written 40 years ago to sell by the million, in a month.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

Think what you like, but compared to the Beatles's track record of sales this is simply average. After all, the band has had 26 certified multi-platinum albums (sales of 2 million), 41 platinum albums, and 47 certified gold albums. A grand slam would be something like 10 million albums. They may reach those numbers eventually, but it's probably a long way off since sales are apparently slowing.

Those certified multi-platinum took decades. Not a month.
post #16 of 41
I never bought any, I did buy some Rolling Stones and some Sex Pistols.

I was never really into the Beatles, dissecting their songs in boring and compulsory school music classes destroyed any vestiges of appreciation I may have had.

To me "Oh bla di, oh bla da", represents the high point of their lyrical brilliance.
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post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by theOtter View Post

Seriously… the Beatles are a good group and all, but who the heck is buying all this stuff? The individual songs, okay, I can see that; but the albums? I just can’t imagine that many people have been sitting around for the last seven years saying, “You know, I really want to buy that Beatles album, but it’s not on iTunes, so I just won’t worry about it.” Or is it just a bunch of people who think it’s easier to spend $10-13 than to rip a CD they already own?

I’m really not trying to be difficult, here. I’ve just spent the last few weeks trying to understand it, and I haven’t come across a single person who has any more idea than I do.

Funny thing is, we keep making new people who grow up and get interested in music, and not just the music of their day.

I work in a high school, the kids love the Beatles. 7 years ago they were 8 and 9 years old and didn't. There are 9 year olds right now that will come to discover the Beatles and all kinds of other music as they get older. Where did you get the idea that popular music is a static market, wherein once "everybody" who wants something buys it there couldn't possibly be any more interest?
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post #18 of 41
This sounds a bit fishy - wouldn't a million albums work out to about 10 or 12 million songs, since most of the albums have at least 10 songs?

Also, do people who bought the "boxed set" count as one album, or 16 albums?

Of course, there's some number manipulation here on apple's part, but it would be interesting to get straight sales figures...
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

This sounds a bit fishy - wouldn't a million albums work out to about 10 or 12 million songs, since most of the albums have at least 10 songs?

Also, do people who bought the "boxed set" count as one album, or 16 albums?

Of course, there's some number manipulation here on apple's part, but it would be interesting to get straight sales figures...

They sold a million albums, plus 5 million individual songs that were sold as singles. So it doesn't matter how many individual songs the album sales represent.

Not sure what "number manipulation" you think would be involved-- album and song sales are pretty straightforward.
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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Rabbit View Post

So humble in your confession.

Humility is overrated.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I will. I was wrong.

Big deal.

Well 'fessed up sir
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post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I never bought any, I did buy some Rolling Stones and some Sex Pistols.

I was never really into the Beatles, dissecting their songs in boring and compulsory school music classes destroyed any vestiges of appreciation I may have had.

To me "Oh bla di, oh bla da", represents the high point of their lyrical brilliance.

I have to ask, what what was the teacher's explanation for that line?
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post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

Think what you like, but compared to the Beatles's track record of sales this is simply average. After all, the band has had 26 certified multi-platinum albums (sales of 2 million), 41 platinum albums, and 47 certified gold albums. A grand slam would be something like 10 million albums. They may reach those numbers eventually, but it's probably a long way off since sales are apparently slowing.

Oh come on, this has to been seen in the context of 'absent the iTunes release' how many would they have sold here and now in 2010-2011?
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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by theOtter View Post

Seriously the Beatles are a good group and all, but who the heck is buying all this stuff? The individual songs, okay, I can see that; but the albums? I just cant imagine that many people have been sitting around for the last seven years saying, You know, I really want to buy that Beatles album, but its not on iTunes, so I just wont worry about it. Or is it just a bunch of people who think its easier to spend $10-13 than to rip a CD they already own?

Im really not trying to be difficult, here. Ive just spent the last few weeks trying to understand it, and I havent come across a single person who has any more idea than I do.

I gather you haven't listened to a radio for quite awhile. Virtually every day, the Beatles are played by thousands of stations to millions of listeners. Some old, some young, some who never heard them before, some who want to hear them every day.

Much of the music that you were brought up on will be your music up to the day you die. Especially, the recordings you just had to buy. You will at some time in your future try to pass on in one manner or degree, even with force onto your children. Just like your parents did to you.

But think about it. Of those recordings that most of us have now, just how many are truly playable?

Just how many Beatles songs were only bought on 45's or LP's, 8-track or cassettes are still playable? Even CD's? Just how many people out there are even capable of transferring their collection to MP3 players, if they even could find them?

Keep in mind that most of the world's inhabitants never bought a Beatle song, never cared enough to go out of their way to hear them and probably never even cared to listen to them. Just like the Black Eyed Peas. In their generations or ever after.

But if the Black Eyed Peas were to become as infamous as the Beatles, there will be following generations that will be drawn to them as there are followers of Mozart, Brubeck and Elvis.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I seem to remember the claim being made here that everyone had them all already (that wanted them) and they'd never sell anything yada yada yada ... just goes to show SJ knows what he's doing yet again!

As their #1 fan, SJ probably bought 500,00 of them himself.
That's like $5 to him.
post #26 of 41
Didn't care 7 years ago and still don't.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

I gather you haven't listened to a radio for quite awhile. Virtually every day, the Beatles are played by thousands of stations to millions of listeners. Some old, some young, some who never heard them before, some who want to hear them every day.

Much of the music that you were brought up on will be your music up to the day you die. Especially, the recordings you just had to buy. You will at some time in your future try to pass on in one manner or degree, even with force onto your children. Just like your parents did to you.

But think about it. Of those recordings that most of us have now, just how many are truly playable?

Just how many Beatles songs were only bought on 45's or LP's, 8-track or cassettes are still playable? Even CD's? Just how many people out there are even capable of transferring their collection to MP3 players, if they even could find them?

Keep in mind that most of the world's inhabitants never bought a Beatle song, never cared enough to go out of their way to hear them and probably never even cared to listen to them. Just like the Black Eyed Peas. In their generations or ever after.

But if the Black Eyed Peas were to become as infamous as the Beatles, there will be following generations that will be drawn to them as there are followers of Mozart, Brubeck and Elvis.

Radio has gone in the toilet for a long time. For the most part, they call talent today wouldn't have received a deal back in the 60s/70s/80s.

It's a tribute to the Beatles talent and legacy for them to command such a demand.

Pink Floyd would produce similar results. Same with Queen.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Didn't care 7 years ago and still don't.

Are you under the mistaken impression that we care how you feel?
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post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Yup. Many made the claim. None will admit it.

I still don't get why it's so difficult to just trust the man's vision and expertise. If he knows his game, he knows his game. It isn't blindness, it's about track records.
post #30 of 41
What's Yoko Ono got to say now.

And how long until apple sells more beatles music than all previous sales combined?
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I have to ask, what what was the teacher's explanation for that line?

I think that part was lost in drowsy, summer midafternoon reveries, like much of that particular teacher's monotone drone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

I gather you haven't listened to a radio for quite awhile. Virtually every day, the Beatles are played by thousands of stations to millions of listeners. Some old, some young, some who never heard them before, some who want to hear them every day.

Not to mention the bland, electonic renditions often heard in elevators and shopping malls.
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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

But if the Black Eyed Peas were to become as infamous as the Beatles, there will be following generations that will be drawn to them as there are followers of Mozart, Brubeck and Elvis.

The Black Eyed Peas will be forgotten in 2 to 3 years, whereas The Beatles will remain relevant for generations to come.

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GOA

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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I will. I was wrong.

Big deal.

And a graceful admission. Civility is not dead.
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Humility is overrated.

It's not about being humble. It's about having class.

You've just revealed yourself to have neither. As in the little things, so in the big things.
post #35 of 41
I've always been a big Beatles fan and I still have most of the LPs, the original CD releases, a few of the new stereo CDs and the mono box of CDs, but even I'm surprised at these high sales levels.

I was in the camp who thought that anyone who really wanted the Beatles would have bought them on CD and copied them to their MP3 player. But I think there's a whole generation of people who are never again going to buy a physical CD. Or, they have the CDs, but find it more convenient to download what they want, even though it's more expensive and inferior audio quality.

But I did think that it was important for Jobs to get the Beatles onto iTunes because without them, you could never claim that iTunes was comprehensive. It would be like having a classical music site without Mozart.

Anyways....I find these sales levels remarkable. Before the CD remasters, Beatles sales, while respectable for a group who had disbanded 40 years ago, had slowed to a trickle. Even the CD remasters didn't sell as much as people thought they would, although it's hard to find reliable sales numbers. They under-predicted the sales for the mono CD box, but the 2nd printing is still available everywhere.

As for the quality of the Beatles writing, IMO, it seems better in retrospect than it did when released when you compare it to the pap that gets released as songs today. Most songs today sound like they were written from an unsophisticated idea in about five minutes. There are incredibly great ideas and especially, images, in Lennon-McCartney-Harrison songs. That's why people still listen to them. What people who listen to the Beatles for the first time today don't get is how their song writing skills and playing evolved and became far more sophisticated over time. When the Beatles music hit U.S. shores in December of 1963, no one ever thought they would ever do more than write some commercial, happy love songs that sounded primarily like a more intense and rockin' Everly Brothers.
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The Black Eyed Peas will be forgotten in 2 to 3 years, whereas The Beatles will remain relevant for generations to come.

I tend and hope to agree.

However, when I hear Americans can't identify their President or Vice-President but they can name every member of the 'Big Bang Theory' or Justin Bieber's favorite food, I have to wonder.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

I tend and hope to agree.

However, when I hear Americans can't identify their President or Vice-President but they can name every member of the 'Big Bang Theory' or Justin Bieber's favorite food, I have to wonder.

That's not a fair example, since Justin Bieber's favorite food is, in fact, every member of the Big Bang Theory.
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I seem to remember the claim being made here that everyone had them all already (that wanted them) and they'd never sell anything yada yada yada ... just goes to show SJ knows what he's doing yet again!

I gotta admit, I'm one of those that thought everybody that wanted Beatles music, pretty much already had Beatles music. I am stunned that Apple/Beatles were able to sell 5 million copies of songs that have already been around for nearly 50 years. But even then, I still think bringing the Beatles catalog to the iTunes store was more about bragging rights than financial reasons.
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Are you under the mistaken impression that we care how you feel?

Wow, great snark. You sure showed him, huh?
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

... I think there's a whole generation of people who are never again going to buy a physical CD. Or, they have the CDs, but find it more convenient to download what they want, even though it's more expensive and inferior audio quality.

Is this the same generation of people who built their music collection via BitTorrent and other illegal means? Personally, I like CDs. They're my backup medium. These new users though probably don't care about backups, since they can just download any replacements without conscience.
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