Friday, April 12, 2024

Apple iTunes Exclusivity Deal With The Beatles Ends Very Quietly After Five Years


We never knew how long the iTunes deal for exclusive downloading of The Beatles was supposed to last. But after five years it does seem to be over. Amazon Prime is now offering all of the main Beatles albums for $7.99 apiece. The Apple party is over. The Fab Four are free of the closed iTunes world. Yippee.

The original deal, cut at the end of 2010, was the result of many legal disputes the Beatles had with Apple computers over the Apple Records name. Steve Jobs had liked the name and logo, so he took it. In an earlier settlement Jobs agreed that his Apple would never have a music company. But then Jobs did it anyway.

What’s interesting is that there was no announcement of the Apple deal coming to an end. The albums just appeared on with a “Buy” button for $7.99. This is a very deep discounted price for Beatles albums, too. The physical CDs are rarely offered for anything less than $12.99. With amazon dipping to $7.99, iTunes has done the same thing, too.

One theory: this is the equivalent of an inventory sale. Now that the Beatles have finally remixed their hits on the “1+1” album, it’s only a matter of time before they sell all new mixes on all the albums. The sound on “1+1”
is amazing. If you play it side by side with the 2009 box set, there’s a huge difference. So my guess is Christmas 2017 we get the Beatles Remixed. We’ll have to buy the catalog all over again. It’s brilliant. Evil genius.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News