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AC/DC’s Back Catalog Moves 48,000 Digital Albums And 696,000 Songs On iTunes

November 29, 2012 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Billboard reports that AC/DC’s back catalog finally hit iTunes last week after holding out and they have been reaping the rewards with 48,000 album downloads (from a back catalog of 25) and 696,000 song downloads.

It’s highest-selling digital album was Back in Black with 15,000, followed by Highway to Hell (a little under 5,000), Live at River Plate (4,000), High Voltage (just under 3,000) and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (2,000).

For song downloads, “Thunderstruck” had the most with 85,000. It debuted at #16 on Digital Songs and #1 on Hard Rock Digital Songs. The top twelve positions on the second list are AC/DC songs. The other big sellers were “Back in Black” (68,000), “You Shook Me All Night Long” (64,000), “Highway To Hell” (50,000) and “TNT” (40,000). There were 14 AC/DC songs that sold at least 10,000 last week.

The Beatles’ arrival to iTunes was advertised with a TV marketing campaign in 2010 but AC/DC’s had no promotion. Although the song “Back in Black” was played over commercials for the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II and the Black Friday ads for Walmart. When the Beatles’ catalog arrived on iTunes, it sold 119,000 digital albums and 1.42 million songs.

That week, the Beatles’ best-selling digital album was Abbey Road (16,000), followed by its stereo box set with 13,000. Their biggest song download was “Let It Be” (63,000), followed by “Here Comes the Sun” (55,000), “In My Life” (45,000), “Hey Jude” (38,000) and “Come Together” (38,000).

To compare to another band, Led Zeppelin joined iTunes in 2007 after holding out and its combined albums sold 47,000 (Mothership, a then new greatest hits album, sold 33,000 of that) and its songs moved 300,000. Zeppelin’s second-largest selling album that week was the iTunes exclusive The Complete Led Zeppelin with 5,000 sold, followed by Led Zeppelin IV (2,000). Out of Zeppelin’s songs, “Stairway to Heaven” was its best-seller, with 31,000. It was followed by “Kashmir” (21,000), “Over the Hills and Far Away” (16,000), “Black Dog” (15,000) and “Immigrant Song” (14,000). Zeppelin started when download sales weren’t as prominent as they are today. Year to date download album sales are at 103.46 million (39% of the overall market). For 2007, downloads were at 50 million (10% of the market).

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Joseph Lee

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