Technology & Science

ITunes to offer Beatles music

Apple Inc. says Beatles fans will finally be able to buy Beatles songs and albums on iTunes, ending one of the most glaring gaps in the catalogue of the world's most popular digital music sales platform.
The Beatles wave to fans assembled below their Plaza Hotel window after they arrived in New York City on Feb. 7, 1964, for a short tour of the United States. From left to right are Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison. ((Associated Press))
Apple Inc. says Beatles fans will finally be able to buy the Fab Four's songs and albums on iTunes, ending one of the most glaring gaps in the catalogue of the world's most popular digital music sales platform.

After a decade-long holdout, Beatles label EMI and Apple Corps Ltd., which manages the affairs of the legendary group, announced the change Tuesday in a joint news release with Apple Inc.

Under terms of the deal, 13 studio albums, a two-volume Past Masters compilation and the Red and Blue collections will be available for purchase and download.

Individual songs are priced at $1.29, while single albums will cost $12.99. Double albums cost $19.99.

A boxed set that includes all the albums will cost $149 and will include Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964, a concert film. Apple said fans will be able to stream and view that film free from iTunes until the end of the year.  

"Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we've had since we launched iTunes 10 years ago, " Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs said in a release.

EMI has acted as the distributor for the Beatles since the early 1960s. But until Tuesday, Apple Corps had refused to let the Fab Four's music on any internet music service, including iTunes.

"I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes," Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said. 

Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison added their "thumbs up" to the iTunes deal in a news release. 

Apple will support its Beatles launch with a series of minimalist TV commercials featuring the band's music along with old footage and photos. Apple's normal home page design was replaced Tuesday with a black-and-white photo of the four musicians.

A long-running trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps was resolved in 2007 when the two companies hammered out an agreement on the use of the apple name and logo. But it took another three years to work out an agreement for online access to the Beatles' music.

The Beatles broke up 40 years ago. Since the early 1960s, more than 600 million albums, tapes and CDs of their music have been sold.

With files from The Associated Press