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'The Beatles' Streaming Christmas Eve

23 Dec, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Fab Four on Christmas Eve for the first time made their entire 13-album (224-song) catalog available for streaming on nine popular music services. They included Deezer, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Slacker Radio, Microsoft Groove, Google Play Music, Napster and Tidal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Happy Crimble, with love from us to you,” read a statement on TheBeatles.com.

The Beatles songs were subsequently streamed about 50 million times in the first 48 hours, according to published reports.

The online access followed nearly a decade of legal (and financial) wrangling between The Beatles’ management company (Apple Corps.), Universal Music Group’s EMI Records and streaming services over the rights. 

The iconic music group, which included Paul McCarthy, Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison, split up in April 1970 after registering 20 No. 1 hits on Billboard and 17 top hits on the British charts, beginning in 1964. Their music remains popular in reissues and compilations, including Beatles 1 released last month.

Despite streaming services dominating the music industry, The Beatles only made their music available to Apple Music in 2010 — seven years after the launch of iTunes.

Ironically, the group and Apple have been in and out of litigation over the decades regarding the tech giant’s right to the name. Apple settled most recently in 2012 after acquiring the logo and name from Apple Corps., and agreeing to license it back to The Beatles.

While most recording artists have acquiesced to the streaming business model (and its reduced compensation), Adele recently bucked the trend by refusing to make her new album, 25, available for streaming. The CD has sold more than 7 million units since its Nov. 20 launch.


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