We’re heading to wrap-up on The Beatles/iTunes deal, learning overnight that Apple has secured an online exclusive on music from the band “well into 2011”.

It seems the move to get the music to the online store began when Roger Faxon took over as the head of EMI’s recorded music division — he prioritized making the deal happen, Billboard reports.

One major sticking point was the terms of the deal between Apple Corps. and EMI. This was worked out in a matter of hourse, the report claims.

“Apple Corp and EMI had some major issues to work through with respect to the granting of rights to exploit the master recordings that the Beatles gave EMI,” a source told Billboard. “EMI would never be in the business of doing something against the wishes of the Beatles.”

A change in leadership at Apple Corp. also helped propel the deal, with all parties understanding that the poularity of the band’s music endures, with strong sales of recently-remastered CDs and of the Rock Band videogame.

Faxon said in the end, it was “quite easy” to get all sides to agree, and he praised Apple Corps’ sound judgment.

“They’re tremendous custodians of this catalog and its heritage,” he said. “They’re always measuring what the right answer is. So I think they saw what we saw, which is that the market has matured. The technology had matured. It was the right moment to bring the Beatles into the digital arena.”

Apple Inc is understood to have paid a “substantial” advance for the catalog and the exclusive right to sell it digitally until sometime next year. It also seems that there are a variety of interesting future marketing components — a Beatles iPhone, perhaps?

Meanwhile The Beatles are the artists behind 25% of the top 200 iTunes songs sold in the US. Sales are also strong on Amazon, where the box set has seen a substantial discount below the iTunes price.

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