Report: Apple to announce The Beatles on iTunes | iLounge News


Report: Apple to announce The Beatles on iTunes

Apple is preparing to announce the arrival of The Beatles’ catalog on the iTunes Store tomorrow morning, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has been in talks with the representatives of the band, as well as EMI, the band’s label, as recently as last week, but that Apple could change its plans at the last minute. The report notes that an agreement would represent a watershed event in a decades-old relationship that has seen lawsuits filed against both parties, beginning in 1978 with a dispute over the “Apple” brand that wasn’t fully resolved until early 2007.

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Why is having the Beatles in the iTunes store that important? 

If you really wanted it, you could just buy the CD and import it into your library.

Not.  That.  Hard.

Posted by Beatles? on November 15, 2010 at 8:57 PM (CST)


Symbolism over substance.  Symbolic having The Beatles “Apple” joining “Apple”.  Actual sales UNLESS they have some specific extra demo tracks or make available USA LP’s like “The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl” available on iTunes, otherwise minimal sales.

Posted by Steve on November 15, 2010 at 9:40 PM (CST)


While I agree that the Beatles catalog is readily available elsewhere, the fact that there is not one Beatles item on the iTMS has been a big deal. Arguably one of the most known bands in the world NOT on the leading digital distribution store. Imagine all the younger music fans that rely on iTunes to get individual tracks or a variety of random songs from an artist that they are becoming familiar with. This will be a pretty big deal for both sides.

But, seeing as I have the USB Apple with the entire stereo catalog, I was hoping this announcement would have been library streaming/cloud music storage. Oh well….

Posted by Mitch on November 15, 2010 at 10:37 PM (CST)


If this is the BIG announcement then I’m seriously underwhelmed. Despite The Beatles legendary status they are, after all, still just another group to many people.
I hope Apple have got something else up their sleeve otherwise they’ve seriously oversold this one.

Posted by Jon on November 15, 2010 at 11:09 PM (CST)


i’ll believe when i see it, this rumour has been floating around too dang long! just like verizon getting the iphone rumour thats been going around for past 4 years it probally aint going to happen but you never know…...

Posted by mario83 on November 15, 2010 at 11:36 PM (CST)


the new apple logo?

Posted by jungle on November 16, 2010 at 12:06 AM (CST)



Don’t be fooled—the Beatles brand has proven incredibly lucrative again and again. Just one of many examples: The Beatles’ “Love”, released in 2006, won two Grammies and went platinum in nine countries despite containing very little original material.

Posted by Clint on November 16, 2010 at 1:01 AM (CST)


The Beatles on iTunes will become a halo event for iTunes and Apple (much like the U2 Special Edition iPod, commercials, and music catalog several years ago).  Don’t get me wrong though, The Beatles will sell huge on iTunes.  I would not be surprised to see a Beatles Special Edition iPod in the near future.

One major thing I would like to see happen today to coincide with The Beatles music announcement is that Apple finally offers lossless downloads.

Posted by Jim on November 16, 2010 at 7:16 AM (CST)


@8: Yep, we can get HD movies for as little as $9.99 that are several times the size of a lossless music album, and $1.99 HD rentals that use up just as much bandwidth, but evidently lossless music is somehow special. Must occupy some super limited Apple music only part of the broadband band spectrum…

Apple starts selling lossless audio at good prices and I’ll never buy another CD again, but so long as they insist that we can’t have the choice for our iTS sales, I’ll keep on buying CDs from Amazon.

Anyhoo, The Beatles would be a huge deal if for no reason other than the decades long legal battles between the two Apples. Sure, most fans do have the music already, but there are number of choice singles that I’m sure would generate a fair amount of revenue, and the symbolism, again, is massive.

Posted by Code Monkey on November 16, 2010 at 8:57 AM (CST)


I would also hope that if they’re making this big of a deal about a Beatles announcement that they actually have something more up their sleeve than simply putting the standard catalogue online. I’d hope to see more special edition type items, like perhaps an iTunes LP compilation or somesuch.

As for lossless, the sad reality is that most people don’t care enough about lossless audio.  Apple offering it even as an option isn’t really worth its time. I also suspect that Apple would see this as needlessly complicating the user experience—longer/slower downloads and files that take up considerably more space.  Many users wouldn’t consider the quality—they’d just see that iTunes downloads are “slower” and “bigger” than stuff from competing services.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on November 16, 2010 at 9:27 AM (CST)


funny i just decided to check to see if any Beatles tracks (as covers) appears on iTMS and hot damn…

The Beatles are now on iTunes!!

Posted by yinyang on November 16, 2010 at 9:38 AM (CST)


Just downloaded Sgt. Pepper’s.  To me, this is huge.

Posted by Kent on November 16, 2010 at 9:38 AM (CST)


Yup, it’s official - The Beatles on iTunes.

Posted by Farnsworth on November 16, 2010 at 10:03 AM (CST)


Beatles on iTunes. Woop di bloody doo!

When are they going to update the iPad OS?

Posted by Dan Dent on November 16, 2010 at 10:05 AM (CST)


@10 - Jesse, those arguments against offering the choice are exactly the same arguments people made against DVD, and Blu-Ray, and HD cable, etc., etc..

The truth is that no one has ever bothered to make a serious attempt at selling music online in lossless other than jam bands, and people buy the FLAC over the mp3 even when there’s a price premium.

Then there’s the fact that around 80% of all music sales continue to be physical albums while 90% of iTunes sales are singles. Just because Apple has become the largest single retailer doesn’t mean they’re all that important in the grand scheme of music sales, because they’re not.

I’m sure the large percentage of people still buying CDs are those who just want something physical, and you can never capture those sales as long as the choice is there, but a major percentage of the sales are people like me who want the choice of format and future proofing lossless audio provides. Even if it turned out it was only 20% of those buying CDs who buy it primarily for the lossless source, that would nearly double Apple’s sales - heck, if it were only 5%, that would still increase Apple’s sales by 20%. It’s a much larger market than Apple has currently that are buying lossless audio so I reject the “nobody cares” argument as mathematically silly. More people care than don’t care even if they’re not 100% sure why they care ;)

Posted by Code Monkey on November 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM (CST)


I’m not disagreeing that there would be a market for it, but I’m looking at the way that Apple probably sees it.  Remember that this is the company that took over two years to bring features like copy and paste and MMS messaging to the iPhone because it didn’t expect that these were things the average consumer cared about (and the sales numbers for the iPhone would suggest that it was at least mostly right).

Further, I think the law of diminishing returns is much more present in the world of audio than it is in things like HD video. It’s fair to say that almost everybody can see the difference between standard and HD video (even if they don’t care), whereas a relatively minor percentage of people can hear any audible differences between a 256kbps AAC file and a lossless audio file.  Most end users care about tangible benefits, not theoretical ones.

IMHO it’s not that “nobody cares” but rather that “not enough people care.” 

I think the percentage of people buying CDs merely for the lossless source is a very small percentage. In fact, I think the people who are buying CDs to put on iPods or other digital media devices is a very small percentage compared to the total consumer base.  I still run into a lot of folks who buy CDs just because they don’t know any better, and lets not forget about the larger customer base out there who don’t even own anything more than a CD player.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on November 16, 2010 at 12:04 PM (CST)


I think you give Apple too much credit here. My hunch is they have every intention of offering lossless audio, but only after they believe the general demand has grown enough to entice the same sort of free cash upgrade bonanza iTunes+ did.

Of course, that’s the one thing Apple could do to get me to buy their substandard offerings when price is comparable: promise of free format upgrades. I don’t even encode my own music to 256 kbps, waste of space and battery life as far as me and my ABX testing are concerned, but I will not pay money to be trapped with a particular format. If Apple ran their App store the same way they run the music store, every time a dev patched a bug or upgraded to retina graphics we’d have to pay an upgrade fee. If their music store ran the same way, buy 256AAC today and lossless tomorrow, I’d be with them, but until we can at least count on that I’ll buy and/or download my lossless and know I can adapt to any player now and forever more while, inevitably, many who spent $$$ on iTunes music are one day going to be feeling the same way those anti-Apple rebels who purchased all those DRM protected 128 kbps WMA files do today.

Posted by Code Monkey on November 17, 2010 at 3:26 PM (CST)

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