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The Beatles sell 450k albums in first week on iTunes

on November 24, 2010, 12:00pm

While they were seemingly getting clobbered by the cast of Glee last week, The Beatles finished their first week on iTunes by selling a worldwide total of 450,000 albums sales and two million individual songs, reports Billboard.biz. Seems like that long-awaited debut was kind of a big deal after all.

In the U.S., album sales reached 119,000 units, with a total of 1.4 million digital tracks also purchased. That total includes 13,000 box sets, which at $149 a pop is no small chunk of change.  For comparison, when Led Zeppelin had their catalog hit iTunes in November 2007, they sold just 47,000 albums and another 300,000 individual tracks.  Led Zep fans clearly aren’t computer savvy folks.

While these Beatles numbers are impressive, it should be taken as a kind of mixed bag when compared with acts with a pre-existing iTunes history. For instance, Kanye West’s November 22nd release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is already on track to sell some 600,000 total copies, showing the marketability of decades-old tracks. On the other hand, Eminem’s “Not Afraid” sold 379,000 digital copies in its first seven days back in May, showing that digital sales of newer material do just as well as, if not better, than the classics, especially since most material can be marketed as individual tracks.

Then again, with Black Friday on the horizon, the Liverpudlians just might make an even greater impact on the sales numbers thanks to weirdos getting up at 5 a.m.

Hey, another gift idea.

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