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The Beatles music reportedly coming to one streaming service on Christmas Eve

The Beatles iTunes

When Apple Music launched back in June, it was noted that the music subscription service didn’t offer up the entire iTunes catalog with a few big name artists missing including The Beatles. That could be about to change, according to a new report out of Billboard, which cites sources that claim The Beatles music will be available for streaming for the first time next week. While the report believes The Beatles music will start streaming on Christmas Eve, what isn’t clear is which streaming service will have access first …

Billboard says word was in 2014 that Apple Records was considering a six-month exclusive with one streaming music service, but that obviously hasn’t happened yet. Then in January, Rob Wells, head of Universal Music Group’s digital business at the time and now exec at Crowdmix, continued talks to get The Beatles onto streaming with the report saying a deal was put together in mid-September. Apple Music’s initial free trial period for early adopters ended around the same time.

Apple entered the streaming music business itself for the first time in 2014 with its acquisition of Beats Music. Then in June it unveiled its successor, Apple Music, which launched at the end of that month. While it’s possible Spotify or some other streaming competitor could be set to exclusively carry The Beatles next week, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for Apple to bring The Beatles to a new medium.

The Beatles catalog was first available digitally in 2010 exclusively through iTunes for a while, which was a major deal for Apple at the time with 2 million tracks sold within days. Bringing all or most of that catalog to Apple Music would be an equally big win for the growing streaming service.


Similarly, AC/DC resisted digital music sales until coming to iTunes in 2012 then later Apple Music at its launch. As for exclusives, Apple Music has had its fair share with Taylor Swift’s 1989 album being available solely on the streaming service after a public back and forth between the pop star and Apple over free trial terms. And starting Sunday, Apple Music will exclusively carry Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour film.

Finally, earlier this month The Beatles 1+ collection of 50 restored videos came exclusively to iTunes. Could The Beatles catalog on Apple Music be next? Apple hyped the announcement in 2010 as ‘A day you’ll never forget’, so should we expect another similar occasion next week? Looks like we should know something by Thursday so stay tuned.

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  1. jamkor - 7 years ago

    I’ll still miss Prince more.

  2. I would listen to nothing else!

  3. Howie Isaacks - 7 years ago

    I will probably catch fire for this, but I really have never liked The Beatles. I really didn’t give a damn when they finally made it to iTunes. The ridiculous legal battles that Apple had with The Beatles’ record company would have been enough for me to never allow them on iTunes.

    • Aunty T (@AuntyTroll) - 7 years ago

      Nothing wrong with not liking the Beatles, but where you even born in 1978 when Apple made an ILLEGAL trademark infringement? If you where, why would you NOT come down on the side of the wronged party? Is it because it’s Apple and they could in no way do anything wrong?

      • dcj001 - 7 years ago

        Were where you in 1978?

    • Me In LA - 7 years ago

      Do you like/not like all music/movies because of such politics? If so, there’s not going to be much to like…the works are messy where there’s big money. And not liking The Beatles is fine, what I don’t like is when someone says “The Beatles suck” or the like, which just plain ain’t true.

    • spiralynth - 7 years ago

      I love all sorts of music: djent, electronic, reggae, country, bluegrass, classical, world, folk, downtempo, chill, trance, dance, jazz, funk … and probably my favorite of all, polyrhythmic precision progressive art metal (a very small handful of bands meet this bar such as, Tool, Vola, Porcupine Tree, to name a couple).

      But I simply cannot stand the Beatles. I’ve tried. I just can’t tolerate them. I can appreciate and understand their contribution to the progress of music, but I simply cannot stand to listen to their music.

      • spiralynth - 7 years ago

        Btw, the new Vola album “Inmazes”, one of 2015’s top 5 releases, was just pulled from Apple Music. Some of their older stuff is still there though. I later found out the band is “selling” copies on bandcamp for whatever price you deem “appropriate”. You could choose to pay, say, .50c if you wanted to, I suppose. That amazes me in this day and age: no greed, just beautiful art.

        And of course, no electronic copy of any Tool song or album is or has ever been (or likely will ever be) available anywhere legally. But that’s another matter altogether.

      • Jake Becker - 7 years ago

        Spiral Architect, Zero Hour, Twisted Into Form….certain King Crimson material of course…..there’s more you should check out which fit the bill :)

      • spiralynth - 7 years ago

        I’ve heard of Zero Hour and Crimson (and then some; I know and listen to a ton of bands). Hadn’t heard of Spiral Architect, but I just gave a quick spin to a couple of their songs on AM. Hard to say but nothing innovative or impressive upon first spin. Sounds like mid ’80s Fates Warning material. I’d probably have to listen more deeply.

        The other two don’t make my list for a number of reasons, but primarily for what I’ll simply refer to as a complex array of esoteric ones. I don’t want to get into it too much here, but there are a lot of bands and musicians across several genres who are automatically off my list if I deem their overall message (lyrical or otherwise), tone or general take on this phase of our existence to either be too dark or … let’s just say don’t align with my belief system or spirituality. This is a very critical and non-negotiable metric for me. Music is an extremely spiritual experience of me. It enters and saturates my soul. I’m very conscientiously selective of what I allow to take root there or my subconscious. Zero Hour’s “message” is far too dark/gloom/doom for my interests. Crimson, well, as legendary as they are (their music has had undeniable influence on countless artists, even Tool … they opened up for Tool once at Red Rocks), their choice to name themselves after possibly the worst thing/being/entity/concept in existence simply makes it a non-starter. Shame too, because I’d probably be a fan otherwise. But no matter, this is where my brain overrules. People give me flack over this, but I’m intransigent on the matter.

        Thanks for the suggestions though.

      • Jake Becker - 7 years ago

        Well, I for one would sure love to live in a world where *everyone* who consumes art is the same way, knowing exactly who they are and why they connect with what they connect with. :)

  4. Doug Bixler - 7 years ago

    If anyone wanted the Beatles by now they would own them and incorporate them into what ever streaming service they like to use. So I say, who cares.

    • JP (@jpindustrie) - 7 years ago

      Shows how little of a Beatles fan you are. In case you weren’t aware, streaming is pretty awesome because managing bits of plastic doesn’t work and not everyone wants to keep a media server running for their own use… There is SO MUCH content (alternate takes, all of the fan club records, the american/uk/international album listings and sequencing, just to name some) that would cater to the hardcore fan. If a service can secure their catalog for streaming they are the ones that can say they have the most content.

    • Wow, so basically your analysis of streaming music today is “it’s useless because if people like music, they own it” ? Sounds like a modern approach.

  5. Kevweb (@kweb75) - 7 years ago

    The 1960s called, they want their music back. This is not an important news story.

    • cdm283813 - 7 years ago

      I agree. It’s the equivalent of beating a dead horse with a broom stick. It’s really time to move on.

    • robertsm76 - 7 years ago

      It is a news story if it causes people that don’t pay for Apple Music to join Apple Music to listen to the Beatles.

    • Ben - 7 years ago

      They’re the biggest and most influential band in history by far. This is a news story.

  6. Paramount Pictures is allowing you to Stream 175 movies online for Free!


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created