Happy crimble, with love from the Beatles.
The Beatles are officially launching their treasure trove of songs on music streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Rhapsody, Slacker, Google Play Music, Microsoft Groove, and Amazon Prime. Fans of the world’s most popular rock band will be able to stream popular songs like “Let It Be,” “In My Life,” and “Here Comes the Sun” on December 24, Thursday, at 12:01am, local time.
Rumors of a debut on music streaming started last week, when sources revealed to Billboard that Apple Records, the record label founded by the band, has signed contracts with a number of streaming services. A deal was reportedly signed in September, sealing Beatlemania on music streaming services.
Apple Records officially announced the news today. The Beatles’ website also posted an announcement. Although the band has been slow to adopting technology, the timing seems perfect. The Beatles didn’t release a CD until 1987 and only offered their songs for download on iTunes in 2010.
An opportunist would shake a head for the lost opportunities, but experts think that the timing is right this time around, considering the rising popularity of on-demand music streaming, which is expected to exceed music downloads and purchases. In 2014, The Beatles sold 1.2 albums and 2.7 million digital songs. This year, the band sold only 900,000 albums and 2 million digital songs. It shows that the trend is shifting to music streaming.
According to Recording Industry Association of America, streaming services counted nearly $1.9 billion in the U.S. in 2014. However, music downloads fell to $2.6 billion from $2.8 billion, while physical music sales fell to $2.1 billion from $2.3 billion.
The band’s debut is expected to boost the number of subscribers of music streaming services. Spotify, for example, currently has 20 million premium (paying) subscribers and 80 million free users. Apple Music has roughly 6.5 million active subscribers.
Numerous streaming services reportedly sought exclusive deals with The Beatles, according to the Wall Street Journal, but the band eventually decided to release the songs on all existing services to “reach the broadest possible swath of fans.” Surviving members and heirs were already thinking about making the catalog available on streaming services.
"It is absolutely the perfect moment," says Alex Luke, a former music executive for Apple Records and EMI. "Digital-music services boom on Christmas Day and the week after, due to the new hardware under the Christmas tree — the iPads and phones and laptops. You have everyone hitting the digital services en masse. They picked the perfect window to maximize the return," he tells Rolling Stone.
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The Beatles’ remastered albums are now live on Spotify and other services. I’ve already listened to a few of the band’s songs, and they really sound good—I feel like a kid again. Albums like the record-breaking “1”, “Let It Be,” “Abbey Road,” “Yellow Submarine,” “The Beatles,” “Help,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” have been remastered. So, what’s your favorite Beatles song?
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