One more time: Beatles coming to iTunes (or not)


Even before Apple Corps and Apple Inc. buried the hatchet over trademark disputes, people have been wondering when The Beatles would land on iTunes. I first reported on such rumours back in 2006 and they are back once once.

This weekend, the London-based Telegraph reported that the much anticipated release of the Beatles catalog on iTunes was nearing reality after Paul McCartney agreed to a deal reportedly worth up to £300 million (just over USD$600 million). This is a staggering amount of money if you consider how many Beatles song Apple would have to sell to recoup the costs. At an estimated gross of 33 cents a song, Apple would have to sell 1.8 billion songs before starting to make a profit.

But once again, those rumours appear to have been crushed and we won’t have to debate whether Steve Jobs was crazy or not to agree to such a deal. Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the company co-owned by Sony and Michael Jackson and that owns most of the publishing rights, has denied the report. A Sony/ATV spokesperson indicated that the company would have been informed of such a deal and that it had in fact received no such notice.

We now return to our ‘The Beatles are coming to iTunes’ watch…

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