EMI has sold more than 450,000 Beatles albums via Apple’s iTunes store in the seven days since the band’s entire back catalogue was made available to download digitally. The music company said 2 million Beatles singles have also been downloaded. An EMI insider hailed it as “a pretty amazing achievement.”
Despite that success, however, only one song – Hey Jude – had reached the British top 40 on Sunday. Take That’s first album since Robbie Williams rejoined the group, Progress, sold just under 520,000 in all formats – digital and CD – to make No 1 this week. It was the quickest-selling album for 13 years, however. The two best-known Beatles greatest hits compilations – the “blue” album and the “red” album – were the only LPs to chart in the UK.
There was an expectation that the group would dominate the charts, particularly after The X Factor dedicated its show on Saturday to Beatles numbers. Industry observers have said the back catalogue may have fared better in the charts if they had staggered the digital releases rather than putting the entire Beatles output on iTunes simultaneously. EMI and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) Corps struck a deal with Apple to finally make Beatles tunes available on iTunes last week.
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.