The rights to offer music from the Beatles on iTunes had eluded Steve Jobs for years but it appears the Apple CEO will finally offer songs from one of the world’s most beloved bands. Apple has obtained the rights to offer The Beatles music at iTunes, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The paper said Apple is planning to make the announcement, but cautioned that the company “could change plans” at the last minute.
Apple posted a note to the company’s Web site today and promised to make an “unforgettable” announcement on Tuesday. Blogs and social networks were crammed with speculation about what Apple might be rolling out next. Apple was thwarted from acquiring rights to the Beatles’ catalog by several factors, including a feud with the band over the Apple trademark. In the late 1960s, The Beatles named their holding and record company Apple Records. Another problem was acquiring exclusive digital rights to the songs. Had the Beatles cut such a deal, it risked alienating Wal-Mart, Amazon, and other music retailers online and off, according to sources with knowledge of the negotiations. There is nothing in the Journal story to indicate whether the agreement with Apple, EMI, and The Beatles is exclusive. If Apple does unveil tomorrow some of the world’s most recognizable songs, such as “Yesterday,” “Help,” and “Across the Universe” then it would end one of the longest-running Apple rumors. Every so often, someone would send the media in a frenzy by floating a rumor that Apple was getting The Beatles. A spokesman for EMI, The Beatles record label, declined to comment. An Apple representative was not immediately available.
If you’re one of those people that burned your Beatles’ CDs long ago or downloaded them off a file-sharing site, then an Beatles-iTunes might be anti-climatic. But that might be all there is.
Apple hasn’t obtained the licenses needed to offer a streaming or digital locker for either music or video according to numerous sources in the the music and film sectors. Apple was working on enabling iTunes users to upload their music and video libraries to the company’s serverswhere they could be stored and then access from Web enabled devices.
As for the probability that Apple will debut the Beatles at iTunes, some fans of the band aas well as music industry execs said they spotted traces of The Beatles in Apple’s post. A graphic in the notice showed four separate clocks pointing to different times. This was reminiscent of the album cover from The Beatles legendary album “Help.”
In the spirit of the “Paul is Dead” conspiracy theories of the 1960s, in which Beatles fans parsed the lyrics and album artwork for clues that Paul McCartney had actually died in a car crash and was secretly replaced in the band, we found that each of the words in Apple’s notice can be found in a song written or performed by The Beatles.
A stretch maybe, but this is Apple, right? (via cnet)