The Beatles and iTunes Store come together

Ronny Kerr · November 16, 2010 · Short URL:

Nearly a decade after launching the iTunes Store, Apple completes its store with the Fab Four

Beatles + iTunes

After years of blockages caused by trademark litigation, piracy concerns, and a lot of generally inexplicable slowness, one of the greatest classic rocks bands ever has landed on the iTunes Store.

Apple has struck a deal with EMI so that iTunes users can, for the first time, download all 13 studio albums by the Beatles digitally.

Whole albums (from Please Please Me to Let It Be) can be purchased for $12.99, single tracks cost $1.29, and the group’s entire catalogue, which got specially remastered for a box set release a year ago, is available for $149. Users visiting the Apple website and iTunes store will also be treated to exclusive live content of the Beatles performing in the 1960s.

"We’re really excited to bring the Beatles' music to iTunes," said Sir Paul McCartney. "It's fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."

"I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes," said Ringo Starr. "At last, if you want it—you can get it now—The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo."

It might seem odd that even though the iTunes Store launched in 2003, one of the most popular groups bar none didn’t make it to the party until 2010.

Much of the slowdown had to do with a trademark dispute between Apple (the computer company) and Apple Corps. (the Beatles’ record company under EMI). In 2007, the two companies entered an agreement that dictated the use of the apple logos and licenses, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Then came the 09/09/09 launch of a Beatles box set containing the albums’ entire catalog, completely remastered. That seemed to show the people behind the Beatles as finally having conceded to the 21st century, and the launch of digital download seemed imminent.

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