Well don’t say that the cynics on Twitter didn’t warn you. It seems like The Beatles on iTunes is nowhere near as big a deal as Apple (inc) and Apple (corps) expected.
Yesterday Beatles fans were predicting that the band would dominate the iTunes charts, propelled to the top by the hype from Apple.
A day on from the launch and instead of the iTunes UK charts been dominated by the Fab Four (or Manc Moptops as Fox news so memorably called them) it is business as usual with Take That, JLS and some new young upstart called Bruce Springsteen grabbing the limelight.
At the time of writing there are just four Beatles tracks in the top 50 with the highest placed being Hey Jude at 29. Admittedly there are two albums in the top ten, with Sgt Pepper at number nine.
Allright so the tracks are forty years old, but the numbers sold must be pretty small and nowhere near Apple’s expectations. Also I think if people were excited by the Beatles on iTunes they probably would have bought their tracks by now and sales will start tailing off as the week progresses.
So why have The Beatles failed to grab the charts (in the UK at least)?
Surely it is because most Beatles fans have their albums already on CD. Also many of their older fans are probably not the type to download songs anyhow. The iTunes charts in the UK seem to be dominated by teen-friendly pop acts (JLS, Rhianna etc) which suggests to me that youngsters are using their parents accounts to download them. The next generation up (17-25 year olds) have probably ripped their parents CDs to MP3s already.
Perhaps, most importantly is that the CDs are so much cheaper than the iTunes downloads. For example the Red album is just £8 on Amazon – a little less than its £17.99 iTunes price.
What is interesting is that yesterday The Beatles lost their digital virginity. The really interesting stuff could happen next year with apps, other download options and maybe even Spotify.