Magical Mystery Math: The Beatles First Day on iTunes

While it ended up being a lot less eventful than a typical Apple announcement, the much delayed (by 8 or so years) appearance of 13 Beatles studio albums and the “Beatles Box Set” on the iTunes store finally occurred today (Tuesday). While I didn’t join in the buying binge, I was curious what was selling. So, 12 hours after the big announcement, I looked at the iTunes store best selling albums page.

On first glance of the screen-grab of the top 20 albums (from about 10:30 p.m., CST), it may appear odd that the top-selling Beatles album is only #6 (Abbey Road).

But a second look reveals some rather amazing stats:

40% of the top 20 albums are by the Beatles.

The 11 non-Beatles albums have been available to fans for an average of three days. The 8 Beatles albums have been available to fans for an average of 40 years.

The 8 Beatles albums (including compilations) have previously been purchased (certified) 246 million times. The 11 non-Beatles albums (including compilations) have been purchased previously zero times.

The average price of a non-Beatles album is $11.77. The average price of a Beatles album is $32.63 (the $149 box set ups the average).

$141 – The cost of purchasing all 12 non-Beatles albums.

$261 – The cost of purchasing all 8 Beatles albums.

Or, if you purchased all 20 albums, the Beatles would account for 54% of the price. The next highest: Taylor Swift, 3.5%

Bottomline: Despite me making no purchases, the Beatles and Apple sold lots of music today.