Apple’s “Exciting” iTunes Announcement: Beatles Catalog Now Available On iTunes [Updated]


iTunes announcement

There has been a lot of speculation over the new teaser message on Apple's home page that talks about an imminent announcement "you'll never forget".

We had reported yesterday that Apple could be launching a new live streaming service based on references discovered in iTunes 10.1 and unlikely to unveil its cloud-based iTunes service or introduce its subscription based music service

Now word is out that the iTunes announcement could be related to something else. According to a report on Billboard.biz, Apple may have struck a deal to finally bring the Beatles catalog to the iTunes store. The Beatles have been one of the most prolific rock bands in history and users have been waiting for their albums to be made available on iTunes for a long time. This rumor has also been confirmed by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ article however bases this speculation on talks between Apple and the EMI Group; the record label that owns the rights to The Beatles catalog, that was held last week and cautions that Apple could change its plans "at the last minute". 

But the prominent teaser on the home page could mean that a pullout is unlikely for now. What is interesting though are the wordings on the teaser page that appear to be hinting at the arrival of The Beatles on iTunes. The Billboard article speculates: 

"It wouldn't be the first time that Apple was "on the verge" of announcing a Beatles deal. For years, every music-related announcement coming from Apple carried a hint of maybe "today's the day." But this time it's very likely that it'll be the case tomorrow morning.

For starters, the sources in the past that quashed any rumors of an impending Beatles launch are today very quiet, and strangely so. Next is the wording of the teaser on Apple's website. The first line is, "Tomorrow is just another day." As noted earlier, "Another Day" is a Paul McCartney song released on his solo record "Ram," but written during the Beatles' "Let it Be" sessions. 

Also, for those into hunting for more clues, Apple's teaser page features four clocks, each with the arms in different positions, (denoting the time of the announcement in California, New York, London and Tokyo time zones). Pretty unnecessary unless you compare it to the cover of the Beatles' "Help!" album, featuring all four members side by side with their arms also in different positions."

iTunes announcement

While we must admit that these findings are not objective enough to draw a conclusion right away, it nevertheless gives an interesting perspective. What do you think? Will the iTunes announcement scheduled for later today bring The Beatles to the iTunes store?

Updated:

As we had reported earlier today, Apple has updated its home page to announce the availability of The Beatles' catalog on iTunes.

Apple has issued the following press release:

Apple Corps, EMI and Apple today announced that the Beatles, the most influential and beloved rock band in music history, are now available for the first time on the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com). Starting today, the group's 13 legendary remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs, the two-volume "Past Masters" compilation and the classic "Red" and "Blue" collections are available for purchase and download on iTunes worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Fans can also get a special digital "Beatles Box Set" featuring the "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964" concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles' very first US concert.

According to All Things Digital, Apple has exclusive digital rights of The Beatles' catalog "into 2011".

This is good news for all the Beatles fans who can finally buy and download their albums or songs from iTunes, however most of our readers seem to be disappointed that there was so much hype created for the Beatles catalogue.

iTunes announcement

Tell us what you think in the comments below. 

[via Billboard, WSJ]

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