McCartney signs deal to bring Beatles catalog to iTunes [updated] | iLounge News


McCartney signs deal to bring Beatles catalog to iTunes [updated]

Sir Paul McCartney has reportedly signed a deal worth an estimated £200 million to bring the Beatles’ back catalog to iTunes. Citing industry insiders, the Daily Mail reports that the deal will bring the much-anticipated release to the store by the end of the year. Due to various deals signed in the past, EMI, Sony and Michael Jackson will all receive a portion of the payout as well. McCartney said last November that he was “pretty sure” the Beatles’ music would be available digitally in 2008, adding, “The whole thing is primed, ready to go—there’s just maybe one little sticking point left, and I think it’s being cleared up as we speak, so it shouldn’t be too long. It’s down to fine-tuning.”

Update: Both Apple and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company jointly owned by Sony and Michael Jackson, have issued statements downplaying the report. A Sony/ATV spokesperson said the report was “untrue,” while an Apple spokesperson called it “unsubstantiated speculation,” adding that “This is not news nor is it a scoop.”

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ARE YOU SERIOUS? THAT much? 200 million pounds? I like the Beatles as much as anyone, but how is that kind of cost going to be recouped? Any die hard Beatles fans have already bought every album and converted them in higher formats, and the next gen of music lovers probably don’t find them relevant any more. Crazy.

Posted by Warren Piece on March 10, 2008 at 10:25 AM (CDT)


And what’s the

one little sticking point left,

That they have to worry about?  I would like to know that.

Posted by mike on March 10, 2008 at 10:32 AM (CDT)


Lets just say its his divorce so the blonde lady does not get any more of hs money for a 2 odd years of so called lifetime marriage

Posted by allmine on March 10, 2008 at 11:00 AM (CDT)


Now, they just need to come to an agreement with the other three members of the band, one of whom is dead… Should be no problem now. :-)

Posted by dave on March 10, 2008 at 1:38 PM (CDT)


There has been WAY TOO MUCH HYPE about the Beatles through Apple.  Warren “hit it on the head” earlier.  The younger generation could care less about the Beatles and good luck ever getting that kind of money back.  I get sick of Steve Jobs always talking about the Beatles and always using the Beatles in his addresses.  Give it a rest!  And get some newer taste!

Posted by spudtak on March 10, 2008 at 2:30 PM (CDT)


“Now, they just need to come to an agreement with the other three members of the band, one of whom is dead…”

Only two of the Fab Four survive…
George died in Nov 2001.

Posted by Bob Levens on March 10, 2008 at 2:43 PM (CDT)


No, there are three Beatles still alive, although technically one of three DID die, but was reincarnated as a penguin, and is currently residing happily and anonymously somewhere off the coast of South Africa.  All he wants is a few raw herring and to be left alone, so that shouldn’t throw too much of a monkey wrench into the negotiations.  Not sure exactly which Beatle was reincarnated, but my money is on George, as apparently John hated fish.

This is huge. There is a whole generation or two who won’t get into it, but as well as The Beatle’s #1 sold, I suspect some huge download numbers will ensuing following the release; the money will be recouped, and then some—not only will this be huge for iTunes, but I suspect it will spur further ipod sales (as if Apple needs them).  Can’t wait, especially if there are some previously unavailable recordings released.

Posted by dmt1 on March 10, 2008 at 3:29 PM (CDT)


The Beatles may say yes to this, but michael jackson (who owns most of their catalog) has said no

Posted by Mike_P on March 10, 2008 at 6:54 PM (CDT)


Actually for all the talk of no one wanting to buy music by the Beatles, I am somebody who does. My Beatles albums—and I own several—were all on LP or cassette, and I never bought CDs. I would say there are a lot of other people who would fall into the same category.

By the way, I am in my early forties, and the Beatles breaking up is one of my earliest memories. Many people of my age were and no doubt are big Beatles fans—we were brought up on them because our parents liked them in the same way that modern children happily listen to Abba. I am prepared to believe that people under the age of 30 might be less interested, but those in that demographic should not assume that just because they don’t care no one else is interested. If Apple has paid that sort of money for the catalogue, they will have done their financial homework.

Posted by Queen Dragon on March 10, 2008 at 7:38 PM (CDT)


Lets do the math. Converted at today’s rate, that’s USD 401,000,000. iTunes is only now approaching one billion songs sold. IF Apple makes 10-20% profit on each song sold without a pre-arranged payment, they’d need to sell +- 4 billion Beatles songs. They’ve paid up front, but we don’t know _exactly_ what for. Could just be for the _rights_ to sell them up front, with a percentage sold per song. At the _very minimum_, Apple needs to sell 401,000,000 Beatles tracks to make their money back. That’s hard costs, not soft costs (i.e. companies paying a staff wage, but charging clients more for company rates). I think (as others do) that Jobs is letting his hard-on for the Beatles cloud his judgement - or it’s a pride thing. I’d bet Apple gets exclusives to some songs, but them Amazon gets the rest as well as Apple.

Posted by Warren Piece on March 10, 2008 at 10:17 PM (CDT)



Yes they would need to sell a lot of Beatles song alone to make their money back.  But bragging rights and the publicity and advertisement revenue will easily make up for the loss in buying the rights to sell.

Posted by Titus on March 11, 2008 at 5:04 AM (CDT)


Wow, the arrogance of the younger generations not only scares me, but saddens me.
Nothing - I repeat NOTHING being offered today holds a candle to the Beatles, let alone, much of the music of the 60s and 70s.
As a matter of fact, watch the iTunes store when great albums are finally offered - McCartney, Traveling Willburys, Pink Floyd, etc. all sell like crazy.
Why?  because some of us don’t consider your current metrosexual, EMO “music” worth buying.
If you don’t like it or care, fine, just quit insulting those of us that do - and that spend a LOT of money.
Unlike many of the “ME” generation, we don’t steal music.

Posted by slb on March 11, 2008 at 10:20 PM (CDT)

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