Hitwise, The Beatles and the Starsky & Hutch Appreciation Fan Club

You may know that The Beatles recently released their back catalogue on Apple’s iTunes music store recently, apparently it was a big thing. I am not a Beatles fan so I just found it a mild irritant. Robin Goad and the people over at Hitwise found that Facebook was a key driver and sounded surprised that Apple | iTunes was a relatively low search term on Google. So why was this?

  • Whilst iTunes has web pages for each track would consumers consider it part of the Googlesphere?
  • If you are interested in The Beatles distributing music unless you are a technophile, the band would come first and the channel a distant second when you think about the user context

The Facebook aspect of it reminded me of Starsky & Hutch. Starsky & Hutch was the first television programme I followed avidly, I was allowed to stay up late on a Saturday night to watch it (I was a sucker for the car chases) and spent far too many hours trying to draw Starsky’s custom-painted Ford Torino. I wasn’t a member at the time, but a number of years ago some friends bought me an old Starsky & Hutch Appreciation Fan Club welcome pack. The club apparently also sent out a magazine or newsletter on a regular basis to fans.

Facebook groups and pages are in many respects similar channels of people’s passions today. The key difference is that you don’t see the same kind of creative outputs that say fanzines like Liverpool’s The End or London’s Boy’s Own had; though this may come with time.

I would fully expect traffic for an item that inspires a passion like music to drive traffic from Facebook. Twitter offers little engagement and MySpace is… interesting, particularly in its efforts to regain relevance with audiences. The more interesting aspect of The Beatles on iTunes is whether this is a blip (like the golden age of record companies getting boomers to buy their cherished artists works whom they previously had on vinyl, on compact disc instead); or whether Steve Jobs has found a proverbial gold mine?