Apple’s confirmed that it’s finally got its hands on the Beatles’ catalog and will start selling the songs on iTunes.
As recently as August, Yoko Ono was declaring that fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a deal with iTunes, saying there was ‘an element’ she wasn’t happy about.
Paul McCartney made it clear years ago that any deal would have to be approved by all the band members or their heirs. Friendly negotations have, of course, also been hampered in the past by the long-running trademark battle between the two over the name ‘Apple’.
Talks have been going on for years, and there have been plenty of false alarms before. But an insider has apparently confirmed to the New York Times that this time it’s the real thing.
Apple’s not confirming anything just yet. However, its website home page is entirely given over to a statement reading: “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget. Check back here tomorrow for an exciting announcement from iTunes.”
It certainly looks like a reference to the band’s 1979 number Another Day – although there are other possibilities. Some have suggested that the announcement could be the long-rumored cloud-based version of iTunes.
The Beatles certainly don’t need a a deal with iTunes – like most bands, they make far more money from CD sales than they’re ever likely to from digital downloads.
In addition, any real Beatles fans are likely to have long ago downloaded their favorite tracks from CDs.
The announcement’s timed for 10am ET today.
Starting today, the group’s 13 legendary remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs, the two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are available for purchase and download on iTunes worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Fans can also get a special digital “Beatles Box Set” featuring the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert.