Beatles sell over 2 million in first week on iTunes

An advertisement on the Apple website on a MacBook Air computer in New York, November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Beatles sold more than two million individual songs and more than 450,000 albums worldwide in their first week of release on Apple’s iTunes store, Apple said on Tuesday.

Of the catalog of 13 Beatles studio albums released last week, “Abbey Road” was the top-selling digital album in the U.S. at the iTunes store, landing at No. 6 overall for the week ending Nov 22. “The Beatles Box Set” was No. 10 on the iTunes U.S. album charts for the week.

“Here Comes the Sun” was the best-selling Beatles digital single but did not place in the top 10 for the week, Apple said.

Apple did not release Beatles iTunes chart positions for territories outside the U.S.

The Beatles catalog was released on iTunes, the world’s No.1 digital music retailer, for the first time on November 16, ending years of negotiations between Apple founder Steve Jobs, the Beatles management company and record label EMI. on Tuesday said the iTunes debut of the Fab Four compared favorably to those of other bands that for years resisted joining the digital music revolution.

Rock band Led Zeppelin’s catalog made its digital debut in November 2007, generating total U.S. digital album sales of 47,000 units and 300,000 individual songs in the first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

But despite the fanfare last week over the arrival of the Beatles on iTunes, their 40 year-old classics failed to trump new material from the likes of R&B singer Rihanna, and the latest effort by the cast of hit TV musical comedy “Glee.”

According to Apple, Rihanna’s new album “Loud” was the best iTunes album seller in the United States last week, followed by “The Christmas Album” of cover versions of holiday songs by the “Glee” cast.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine Kearney