As predicted, Apple’s big iTunes announcement today wasn’t iTunes in the cloud, or streaming, or a subscription fee… it’s John, Paul, Ringo and George. After ten years, the Beatles and their music catalogue have finally hit iTunes.
Although it’s not been announced on Apple.com as of writing, the Beatles’ presence on the iTunes Store now commands most of the upper fold. The entire catalog seems to be available, along with a link to the band’s page, the Beatles Box set and more. You’re even getting a decent deal on the Beatles Box Set: it cost $250 when it was released last year, and currently costs $154.99 on Amazon at a heavily discounted price. Apple’s price? Just $150 for every Beatles song ever recorded.
The sudden resolution of Apple’s decades-long standoff with Apple Records, first for the Apple trademark and then for the Beatles catalog, has happened swiftly. One thing’s for sure: however Steve got Apple Records and EMI to agree to iTunes’ terms, it’s going to make one hell of a read when the story finally comes to light.
Although many of us already own the Beatles’ catalog — I have the full collection of the recent remasters already converted to lossless MP3s — and while many will be apathetic to this news, this is a big win for Apple, as the record labels release their death grip on one of the last digital music holdouts.
CDs and records aren’t the future of music anymore: iTunes is, and the labels have finally been forced to give up one of their last aces-in-the-holes in order to stay relevant.