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Tuesday, November 28, 2021

Yup, after years of resisting the digital-music migration, the legal entity known as The Fab Four is finally ready to license its tunes online. And it looks like the music catalogue will be legally available through iTunes — and only iTunes.

While details remain to be worked out, Fortune has learned that iTunes is close to a deal to bring the Beatles catalog online. Apple Computer is said to be angling to become the exclusive online music store for the Beatles for a limited window of time. Other music stores, such as Microsoft’s MSN and Rhapsody, have courted the Beatles over the years to no avail, but it appears Apple is close to getting first dibs on the band’s hits.

Even with a time limit to the exclusivity, this amounts to a killer app for iTunes and iPod. But I have a sinking feeling that, even if this comes off, part of the conditions will be to sell Beatles songs in the dreaded “album only” blocs that various rightsholders (notably for movie soundtracks) demand. So even if you want to pay only 99 cents just for “Taxman”, you’ll have to pony up $9.99 (or more?) for the entire “Rubber Soul” “Revolver” album.

Which isn’t the worst thing in the world. Despite my recent resolve to bolster my music collection only with current stuff, I can see splurging on a collection of Beatles tracks. Including all of the aforementioned album, which — like many a musical snob — I prefer to “Sgt. Pepper’s”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/28/2006 10:54:28 PM
Category: Business, Pop Culture, Tech
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