Will iTunes and the Beatles come together?

Written by Brett Thomas

April 2, 2007 | 14:01

Tags: #beatles #emi #itunes #steve-jobs

Companies: #apple

Update: The announcement was actually totally different, but even better than The Beatles - you can now purchase songs from EMI artists for $1.29 with no DRM and double the standard quality. All full albums will remain their normal price but still be double quality and DRM free. The service starts in May (though I wonder how this will work with the new "Complete My Album" feature).


There's no doubt that iTunes has changed the way that people think of buying music, and arguably for the better. Some people have even drawn the correlation that iTunes is for music delivery what the Beatles was for music. Is it true? Probably not, but now you may at least find the Beatles on Apple's service... and today might be the day that Apple and EMI announce it.

Steve Jobs is apparently flying over to do a big press release with the troubled record label, under the auspices of some "very big news." That news has been rumoured to be the biggest thing in music showing up on the biggest thing in legal digital distribution - and that could be really big for both sides.

The Beatles have arguably the largest legacy in modern music, but that doesn't mean that the catalogue has been keeping EMI in the black. In fact, the recording label has been getting into more and more financial trouble, particularly in more recent years. Hopefully a release of The Beatles to a new generation of digital-based music buyers will bring some much-needed cash to the company.

Of course, on the other side of the coin, Apple won't exactly be going broke either. The addition would be the first re-release of The Beatles catalogue since the Anthology, and that would be a big, exclusive feather in the cap of iTunes. The press event will include live performances from unknown artists, so it should be quite a show.

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