The much-hyped arrival of the Beatles catalog on iTunes helped move a total of 144,000 units in the U.S., or about seven times the scans generated by the catalog in the prior week, when the total was 20,000 units, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
The best-selling albums were "Abbey Road," which was priced at $12.99 (it scanned 19,000 units overall); followed by the White album, which was priced at $19.99 (14,000 units scanned); the boxset, which retailed for $149 at iTunes (slightly more than 13,000 units scanned); and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which was priced a were priced at $12.99 by iTunes (nearly 13,000 units scanned).
The other albums selling over 10,000 units last week were the Beatles "1967-1970," which scanned more than 12,000 units and the "1962-1966 (Greatest Hits)" album, which scanned nearly 11,000.
And for those who are curious, "Rubber Soul" outsold "Revolver," with nearly 9,000 vs. more than 7,000 scans.
iTunes, which exclusively will sell the Beatles catalog digitally for an undisclosed period of time, sold 119,000 digital albums form the band, of which nearly 13,000 units was the Beatles boxset.
iTunes also generated 1.42 million track scans in the first week. In terms of track equivalent albums, that translates into another 140,000 units. And if the boxset is converted into equivalent albums, (dividing the box set price of $149 by an iTunes single album price that yields 11.54 album units for each boxset). In terms of total album sales, that's equal to nearly 400,000 digital album units.
Despite all the hoopla surrounding the Beatles, brick and mortar stores and online CD sellers didn't reap a big sales bonanza. According to SoundScan data, CD sales for the week total about 24,000 units. That was a 20% increase over the previous week's 20,000 units, but only a 4,000 units gain.
Within CDs, the internet/mail order/venue category snared about 5,000 units, and the bulk of that was probably Amazon, which was selling single-CD albums for $7.99, the double White album for $11.99 and the mono-boxed set for $130. At iTunes those prices, respectively were $12.99, $19.99 and $149. For the year, the Beatle's catalog U.S. sales stands at 1.8 million units.