Famous Ed Sullivan performance temporarily free
Apple has updated the Apple TV with another new channel, this time promoting Beatles content hosted on iTunes. Simply titled "The Beatles," the channel more specifically carries over Apple's marketing highlighting the 50th anniversary of the band's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Apple TV owners can stream the 14-minute TV segment for free for a limited time; the rest of the channel, however, is dedicated to the Beatles' US albums, which have to be bought on iTunes for listening purposes.
Move done last minute to extend UK copyright 20 years
A new Beatles album replete with songs previously available only as bootlegs will appear on iTunes on December 17, beating a copyright expiration in the United Kingdom. The album, called The Beatles: bootleg recordings 1963 will be exclusive to Apple's download service, and will serve to extend the copyright over the recordings for another 20 years. It is not known if the tracks will make it to iTunes radio.
All three volumes, more available for pre-order
Apple and EMI Music have announced that the remastered versions of all three volumes of the Beatles' Anthology series will be available on iTunes beginning June 14th, with pre-orders being accepted now. There will also be an Anthology digital "Box Set" which will feature all 155 tracks, along with a Highlights compilation from the Anthology albums available as well. A video trailer for the package as well as a 50-minute "Meet the Beatles" radio show are now available for streaming from iTunes.
Company illegally sold tracks before iTunes deal
Media Rights Technologies has reportedly agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a copyright infringement suit involving Beatles songs sold on the Internet before the music became officially available on iTunes. The company had been sued by music label EMI Group for distributing a variety of tracks that were claimed to be remixed as "psycho-acoustic simulation" content, rather than original music.
LOVE, All Together Now available for pre-order
Apple has announced that the iTunes Store will soon be carrying two exclusive Beatles titles, the LOVE album and a documentary called All Together Now; pre-orders begin today. On iTunes LOVE will include previously unreleased versions of "The Fool on the Hill" and "Girl," as well as iTunes LP features like a gallery of the Beatles and the album's namesake stage production. Cirque du Soleil has been performing LOVE in Las Vegas since 2006.
Band, label may be getting equal split
In order to secure the Beatles' music for iTunes, Apple agreed to pay the band's company (Apple Corps) directly, according to industry sources contacted by Reuters. The newswire agency notes that under a typical music contract, a label distributes a record, licenses songs from publishers, collects revenue from retailers and then makes royalty payments to the artists and the publisher. In the case of the Beatles and iTunes though, the digital download royalties are said to be going straight to Apple Corps, while the songwriting mechanical royalties are going to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns most of the Beatles' songs.
Apple spreads band across promotions
A day after going on sale, the Beatles' discography is controlling the iTunes Store's album charts, Fortune notes. Leading the group is Abbey Road, positioned at number 7. The White Album is at 9, and Sgt. Pepper is at 10. Notably, the Beatles Box Set is number 12, despite costing $149.
Completes long-standing struggle
After years of waiting, Apple has finally secured the rights to the Beatles discography for the iTunes Store. All of the band's major studio albums are present, such as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road. Also present are three compilation albums, and a comprehensive box set, which costs $149.
Yoko Ono says Beatles holding out on digital
Yoko Ono late Thursday cooled expectations that the Beatles would reach iTunes, or any digital music store, in the near future. She didn't explain what the holdup might be but implied a sticking point that had Apple Corps at odds with either EMI or Apple Inc. John Lennon's famed widow was quick to call Apple Inc.'s Steve Jobs a "brilliant guy" but said there was an unnamed aspect the Beatles' label wasn't "very happy about, as people."
Problems blamed on "people in the middle"
Former Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney claims that the record company EMI is the only force still resisting the push to put Beatles music on iTunes. In a BBC interview, McCartney suggests that he still wants to see the tracks distributed through Apple's media portal.
Beatles Rock Band Bundle
Harmonix on Thursday confirmed full details of its hardware bundle for The Beatles: Rock Band. As hinted at earlier this week, the Limited Edition Premium Bundle will have a guitar controller resembling the Hofner Bass used by Paul McCartney as well as a pearl finish, Rock Band equivalent to Ringo Starr's Ludwig drum set. A microphone and a matching stand will also be part of the package as well as unnamed "additional special content."
Beatles Remastered CDs
The Beatles on Tuesday confirmed plans to launch remastered CD versions of their catalog in time with their first digital-only video game release through the Rock Band series. The reworkings are claimed to be the best quality since the originals and each include a QuickTime video documentary about the making of their given albums. A separate collection will include the original mono mixes where they existed.
Rock Band gets Beatles
The Beatles are allegedly making their first stride into digital licensing, according to inside information obtained by The Wall Street Journal, which says Apple Corps is considering releasing tracks for Rock Band. Apple Corps has been notorious for keeping the prized, history-making albums away from digital formats, most famously in response to repeated conflicts with Apple Inc, over the usage of the iconic fruit logos both companies use.
Liverpool Apple Store
Several new Apple Stores are set to open their doors Saturday, including one in Liverpool, England. Housed in the redeveloped Liverpool One Complex, the new store is Apple's 16th in the UK. The company is also opening stores in Montreal, Glendale, Arizona, and Charleston, South Carolina.
Beatles Guitar Hero Rumor
The Beatles are close to securing a deal that would see their first digital music releases through music games rather than direct downloads from iTunes or or similar stores, says the Financial Times. The UK business paper claims sources who say that the pop rock group may have deals "in a matter of weeks" that bring songs to Guitar Hero maker Activision as well as to Rock Band co-creator MTV Games. While no specifics are mentioned, the deal suggests a Beatles-themed title and alludes to the possibility of making Beatles songs available as downloadable content.
Apple and EMI Deny Beatles
The parties involved in the allegedly close Beatles deal for iTunes have all denied its taking place, according to news from Billboard. The music chart makers warn that Apple Inc. has flatly denied the rumors as "unsubstantiated speculation," while the Beatles' own label Apple Corps as well as its parent company EMI have both refused comment on the matter, seemingly putting an end to claims by British newspapers made over the weekend.
Beatles on iTunes in 2008?
The Beatles' back catalog should finally appear in digital form by the end of the year, claims a British tabloid. The deal will reportedly see the music come to the iTunes Store, with albums including the likes of Help!, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and possibly more. The deal is said to worth as much as £200 ($402.5) million, and has allegedly been sanctioned by lead Beatle Paul McCartney as means to help pay for his divorce from Heather Mills. Proceedings have already cost McCartney £5 million, and may jump by another £20 to £30 million after a settlement.
Forbes on Macworld keynote
A fair number of new devices and other offerings may be announced at next month's Macworld Expo, says Forbes. The magazine notes that while Apple followers can sometimes have fantastic expectations for the keynotes delivered by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, some of the products they previously speculated about may finally materialize. Among these is a sub-notebook, which is rumored to have a 12- to 13-inch screen with LED backlighting, optional flash memory, and no optical drive.