After a Week on iTunes, Beatles Sell 2 Million Songs

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The numbers are in. After their first week on iTunes, the Beatles have sold more than two million individual songs for $1.29 each and more than 450,000 complete albums. The best-selling album is Abbey Road.

Of that tally, U.S. album sales totaled 119,000 units, which included 13,000 digital box sets, while individual digital track sales reached 1.4 million, according to industry sources. Each digital box set included 13 studio albums, the two-volume "Past Masters" compilation and the "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964" concert film. Sources say the U.S. album sales tally of 119,000 counts each box set as one unit, while Apple's worldwide album sales tally counts each box set as multiple sales units, although it wasn't immediately clear how many units each box set accounted for.

The Fab Four's debut-week sales on iTunes compare favorably with the first-week sales of previous iTunes holdouts. When Led Zeppelin's catalog made its digital debut in November 2007, the band generated total U.S. digital album sales of 47,000 units, which included sales of 33,000 units of the two-volume hits compilation "Mothership," which was released the same week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Led Zeppelin's first-week individual track sales totaled 300,000, according to SoundScan.

Read the full story at Billboard.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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