After years of deliberation and resistance from Beatles management, it appears that a deal may soon be struck to bring Beatles music to digital formats for MP3 player consumption. Oddly, speculation currently indicates that the Beatles might first be released exclusively on iTunes. No word as to when, but David Munns. the head of EMI, has said it will be “soon.”
Users can currently search through Beatles albums on both iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, but neither store has an option to purchase. This amuses me immensely since in his piece “Trying Out the Zune: IPod It’s Not,” David Pogue gleefully wrote of the Zune Marketplace:
At the very attractive but dog-slow Zune store, for example, you can either buy songs ($1 each) or rent them (unlimited songs for $15 a month). But Microsoft’s store doesn’t sell TV shows, movies or audio books. The music catalog is much smaller — 2 million vs. 3.5 million on iTunes — a fact that Microsoft ham-handedly tries to conceal by listing stuff that it doesn’t actually sell, like Beatles albums.
I guess when Apple does it it’s not a ham-handed concealment, but rather a clever lifestyle alternative for Mac fanboys to rally behind. At any rate, it seems Apple is currently hammering out the exclusivity term that will secure the Beatles on iTunes for an undisclosed period of time. Seems like a foolish move on behalf of Beatles management though. The Beatles should be released simultaneously onto all mediums, not exclusively onto one.
Beatles: only on iPod? [CNN Money]