What prompted the Beatles to end their lengthy dispute with the other Apple over downloads?

Part of the hesitation on the Beatles’ part may have been that the band have always been heavily protective of their music, keen never to devalue the brand by giving away their songs too cheaply: when the disruptive effects of the internet were first felt within the music industry, one common response was to start selling CDs at heavily marked-down prices, but McCartney and co never succumbed to this pressure.

Nor is it likely to be coincidence that the iTunes deal was only concluded a full year after all the Beatles’ albums were remastered and reissued on CD, rather than at the same time: this way, the band get yet another turn in the spotlight. For now, iTunes is the only digital carrier of the Beatles catalogue, but an EMI spokesman has said this special treatment will only last “into 2011”, holding out the promise that Baby, You’re Rich Man will soon be available on a multitude of digital platforms, including services such as Spotify (although possibly, in that instance, as part of the offering to premium subscribers).


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