The Beatles: Facebook More Important Than Google

26th Nov, 2010

There’s an interesting post over on the Experian Hitwise blog examining how the UK online audience reacted to the announcement Beatles tracks would be available to download on iTunes. There’s a few interesting points, such as the massive spike in traffic to iTunes, the BBC News website was a hugely important source of referral traffic, iTunes paid for two thirds of its search traffic and Facebook played a much more important role in sending traffic to iTunes than Google did.

Facebook traffic to iTunes

The above chart shows just how much traffic was being set to iTunes from search engines, and while second line is social networking and forums, in their post Experian explain this is mostly Facebook. On the day Beatles music was available on iTunes Facebook traffic to iTunes almost doubled, while search engine traffic experienced a significant fall from 21% to just over 13%.

I’d love to know why there was such a jump in traffic from Facebook. In the space of a week iTunes went from being the 86th most popular site for traffic from Facebook to being the 20th. So why did people go online to Facebook then iTunes? At best guess I can only estimate it was a combination of Facebook pages and online discussion that was responsible. The tracks were available a few days after Beatles week on X Factor, theres a significant number of fans for the TV shows page, added to various Beatles pages, the iTunes page has Beatles tab, plus you have music fans discussing it, and don’t forget Bing searches on Facebook.

It would seem, for The Beatles, Facebook is more important for driving sales than Google.