CSPC: The Beatles Popularity Analysis


Streaming Sales

The Beatles have got a unique relation with each and every format. The last one which emerged more than 40 years after they disbanded still saw them adopting an atypical strategy. Holding out their catalog for years just like they did on download platforms before, they came into the streaming world for 2015 Christmas day.

The ‘Beatles are on Spotify!‘ was a hot news, the last Splash Strategy used by EMI to date. Results have been fairly strong with 1 billion streams reached by June 30 2016 and 2 billion by December 20 2016. As their arrival was extensively marketed along with the Spotify brand and due to success demographics of the group perfectly fitting with the Swedish giant distribution, their plays on that specific platform have been a tremendous part of their overall streams. By the date 2 billion milestone was hit, their Spotify results amounted for 1,27 billion, a notable 63,5% of their total streams. Thus, this proportion will be used on all figures presented on this category to extrapolate their Spotify numbers into global ones.

We will be reviewing streams from all their songs and all their albums, converting each of them into equivalent album sales. The equivalent album sales is the division of the comprehensive streaming figure by 1500 as it is now the norm in the new industry model.

Streaming Part 1 – Breakthrough Albums

Before getting into big hits, the first striking element from streams of the group first three albums is their consistency. Each and every song on them has at least 1 million plays, a very solid showing, even more considering they have been running for 14 months only.

Still, total equivalent sales show a 3 to 1 lead of Please Please Me over With the Beatles. Streaming make it no different than in the past – it’s the big hits that drive sales, whatever format you are talking about. Both Love Me Do and Twist And Shout crack the 30 million barrier while the likes Please Mister Postman and Roll Over Beethoven have 10 times less streams.

Songs from A Hard Day’s Night are in-between performance wise. The title track has 24 million streams while Can’t Buy Me Love posts a strong 19 million.

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I’m curious why their digital singles sales are so low compared to the likes of Queen and MJ?


I guess that one important reason is that they wait many years until put the catalogue there (2009), and 5 years later that market started to collapse, so they had few years to make sales. I mean, even Elvis have a little more digital sales, when the Beatles outstream him x2.


It’s explained on page 31 of this article.


I would love to see the sales of George Harrison. Both John Lennon and Paul Mccartney are updated while George and Ringo are missing. I assume Ringo hasn’t sold that well but George had string of succesful albums starting with All Things Must Pass. Maybe in the future when The Beatles sales are going to be updated you could also do George and Ringo, same as it was done with Neil Young, when both Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were done at the same time. I’m sure a lot of people would love to see that. Thank… Read more »

Tom Riise

An update on The Beatles would be great.

Eric Williams

BFD on amount of records sold. Theres more people in the world. All these groups/people are playing because of the BEATLES. I bought my first guitar from a guys living room. I traded my flute in for an electric guitar, at Jacks Drum Shop, after Feb. 1964 when they were on Ed Sullivan. There was no Guitar Center, or anything like that. Since the BEATLES, everyone and their brother play guitar.

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