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 amazon.com 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.