One would assume that these releases would be automatic moneymakers for the Beatles, who have sold more than 600 million albums worldwide and held the top five spots on the Billboard 100 in April 1964. Yet in today's digital age, where many millennials are unable to name even one of the throwback pop sensations, how can the legacy of this iconic band continue its momentum?
"The Beatles' original audience is aging and starting to die off," said Robert Rodriguez, co-host of the podcast "Something About the Beatles" and author of five books about the group. "No matter how great the Beatles' music and legacy, new releases will never compete with Adele or Beyoncé in sales," he said. "But that doesn't mean the keepers of the estate should be discouraged from addressing the Beatles' legacy with great care and sensitivity for their aging original audience and the generations to come."
On Christmas Eve last year, the Beatles officially joined the online music streaming world when London-based Apple Corps, which holds the licensing rights for the Beatles' brand and music, gave the go-ahead to stream the band's full catalog of music on services including Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Tidal and Amazon's Prime Music. Apple Corps is owned by former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and by the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison. Two days later the band set the record on Spotify for the most simultaneous streams in the service's history — at 250 million times and counting.
Who were the listeners? Surprisingly, not the baby boomers. Seventy-nine percent weren't even born yet when the band called it quits in 1970.
Now the film's producers are hoping they can do the same: One day after the theatrical premiere of "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week," the Ron Howard documentary will become available on Hulu.