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The Beatles on iTunes, selling well, though little chart impact

By | Published on Wednesday 24 November 2010

The Beatles may have made next to no impact on the UK charts last week, despite all the hype that surrounded their arrival on iTunes, but EMI has revealed that globally sales of the Fab Four’s now legally digital catalogue have been going pretty well.

In the last week, since the Beatles arrived on the Apple download store last Tuesday, 450,000 digital albums and two million single tracks have been sold. EMI insiders say bosses there are very happy.

But The Beatles songs are still lingering in the lower part of the iTunes charts in the UK, despite some wondering if The Beatles theme on last weekend’s ‘X-Factor’ might lead to a flurry of new sales that would fall into this chart week. To think, it was once predicted that in the week The Beatles finally went online they might dominate much of the top ten in the singles chart.

Some are saying that in its rush to make a big announcement, both Apple and EMI screwed up by putting the entire Beatles catalogue online in one go. A more clever approach would have been an album a week with some online marketing to announce each new arrival. Given how long everyone had waited for the Fab Four to appear online, a few more weeks would have made no difference.

But Apple, it seems, was keen to get The Beatles fully digitised as soon as the ink was dry on its contracts with EMI and Apple Corps. So much so even its own ads didn’t start appearing until a week after launch.