Beatles Announce Streaming Deals With All Major Music Services
Just in time for Christmas, the Beatles are finally making their entire catalog available for streaming.
Confirming recent rumors, the band made the announcement on their official site, quipping in a press release that their music will be available "here, there and everywhere" through all major online services (including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Deezer and Google Play) starting at 12:01AM local time on Dec. 24. The site also includes an interactive graphic displaying the progress of the sun across the planet, which users can follow along to determine the group's long-awaited entry into the streaming arena.
The Beatles have long been digital holdouts, skipping a handful of post-CD formats entirely and only making their music available for MP3 purchase via an exclusive deal with iTunes in 2010. Although these new streaming deals were heavily rumored prior to the announcement, it still comes as something of a surprise — especially the band's decision to work with all services instead of cutting another exclusive deal.
The band's exalted status — and continued strong sales for physical copies of their classic catalog — might have made them an ideal test case for streaming's inevitable migration into premium-only content. Making their music this widely available is bound to attract new generations of fans (and like it or not, many younger listeners aren't familiar with the Beatles), but it still feels like something of a capitulation.
On the other hand, the Beatles catalog has been nothing if not savvily managed over the past several decades, and the band's move into streaming will likely be a net positive. "Their publishers didn't want to do anything to damage potential sales of reissues and retrospectives," an industry analyst told the BBC. "But they've waited until the market has got some scale and they could get the best deal. It's a big PR catch as it helps communicate that the platforms are 'all the music in the world' -- which is the value proposition of streaming services."
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