Yesterday’s announcement from Apple might not have rocked everyone’s world, but the news that The Beatles have hit iTunes (read more at StreetDate) will doubtless mean the Fab Four grace a few more playlists than usual this week.
Last.fm Trends takes a look at the numbers.
The Beatles already have a huge following on Last.fm, and it’s largely the result of fans scrobbling the hits off of CDs through software like iTunes. Plus they almost single-handedly defined the nature of pop, which is a fairly appealing reason to listen to a band.
They’ve managed to pull 279,013,645 plays from 2,335,253 listeners so far. To put that in context they’re just ahead of Radiohead, a very digital-friendly band, who have fewer plays (250,465,357) but more listeners (3,015,985). That could very well be because it’s been so easy to get digital copies of Radiohead’s music compared to The Beatles.
The Beatles catalog jumped in popularity by about 10% after the re-release last year. Any coverage brings them a new wave of listeners, and we’d expect that trend to be repeated this time around too.
So far the plays-per-hour have leapt from their daily peak of 11,000 scrobbles to around 15,000, which is a significant jump. They probably won’t stay that high, but it’s an indication of how ready fans are to hit play on the classics.
This might affect how popular certain tracks are too. Number ones like “Let It Be”, “Help!” and “Yesterday” tussle for the top spot, with tens of thousands of plays every week and around four million plays in total for each song.
Given that the tracks are decades old The Beatles won’t be making an appearance in the Best of 2010, but check out the Last.fm charts page over the coming weeks to see how they do.