Are the Beatles Declining in Popularity?
As sales of music across the board continue to decline in favor of streaming, another manner of determining an act's popularity is by seeing how often people search for them on Google and YouTube. By that metric, it would seem that the Beatles are decidedly less popular than they were a decade ago.
Digital Music News has looked at data provided by Google Trends and concluded that they've had 70 percent fewer searches between January 2004 and the present. The graph includes all searches related to the band. According to the chart, interest has been declining steadily, although there was a major spike -- its highest placing in 13 years -- in September 2009. That corresponds with when the Beatles reissued their entire catalog and released a special version of the Rock Band video game on Sept. 9, 2009.
They note a similar pattern for searches on YouTube, beginning in 2008. However, the article does not acknowledge that, over the past few years, unauthorized uploads of Beatles songs have been removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement. The official Beatles YouTube channel has only 28 videos.
The downward trend on YouTube could also be a reflection of the greater impact that streaming services are having on our listening habits. In late-2015, the group's music became available on all major streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Deezer and Google Play.
However, they say that while Paul McCartney's Google search numbers are also decreasing, he experiences occasional surges due to the fact that he remains an active touring musician.