Anyway, it was announced yesterday that the Beatles and Apple have reached a deal that places the band's historic catalog on iTunes.
Apple Inc. is preparing to disclose that its iTunes Store will soon start carrying music by the Beatles, according to people familiar with the situation, a move that would fill a glaring gap in the collection of the world's largest music retailer.
The deal resulted from talks that were taking place as recently as last week among executives of Apple, representatives of the Beatles and their record label, EMI Group Ltd., according to these people. These people cautioned that Apple could change plans at the last minute.[...]
Even as recorded-music sales have plummeted, the Beatles have remained one of the most reliable franchises in the business. In 2009, 39 years after breaking up, they sold the third-highest number of albums of any act in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, with 3.3 million copies sold.
The Beatles aren't the only big iTunes holdout. AC/DC, Bob Seger and Kid Rock all have withheld their music from the online store. Other longtime digital wallflowers such as Metallica and Led Zeppelin have relented in recent years.
The Beatles' deal with iTunes was delayed in part by ongoing trademark litigation, the most recent round of which was resolved in 2007.
The Fab Four's arrival in the digital age comes very late compared to most other major acts'. The group also was a latecomer to the CD era, waiting until 1987 to issue their main body of work on a medium that the industry had embraced in the early to mid part of the decade.
People who have done business with the group and its corporate entity, Apple Corps Ltd., describe a very slow-moving process in which the two surviving members, and the heirs of the other two, can take a long time to reach consensus.