Take That Google: Beatles ITunes Sold By Facebook

Beatles mp3 sharing is as old as Napster, but paid versions of them only came online last month through iTunes. Searching for these digital ditties is as old as search engines, but more people found Beatle downloads via social media than other methods.

The day the Beatles content became available on iTunes, 26.32 percent of all traffic to Apple websites came from social networks. That compares to just 16.59 percent two days prior. These findings come from a brilliant analysis by British consultancy Experian Hitwise.

Hitwise found that Apple’s websites had the fastest traffic surge out of any other site getting clickthroughs from Facebook posts — this was during the week the Beatles mp3 offerings debuted.

That week, Apple sites jumped to 20th most popular from a previous ranking of 86. Hitwise didn’t release any follow-up analysis on whether the numbers have subsequently returned to pre-Beatlemania levels.

These numbers fascinate for many reasons, some more obvious than others:

  1. Facebook really drives iTunes sales, and apparently Beatles fans abound on the social network (See number 4).
  2. Interest in the Beatles may extend to younger people than the Baby Boomer generation.
  3. People want to buy mp3s of songs that have been available for decades in other media and could easily be copied from them for free.
  4. Apple may consider these findings as proof that iTunes might want to expand its presence on Facebook, or do some dealmaking in this area.

Readers, what do you make of the Hitwise analysis and the traffic graph you see below?

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