Getting Apple, Apple Corps., EMI, Sony/ATV and Yoko Ono to agree took some doing
"While details remain to be worked out, Fortune has learned that iTunes is close to a deal to bring the Beatles catalog online."
So wrote Tim Arango, now at New York Times, in Fortune's Nov. 27, 2006 issue.
"As Fortune went to press," he wrote, "numerous deal points were still being hammered out. According to a music industry executive apprised of the talks, the parties were discussing how lengthy a window of exclusivity iTunes might get and how many tens of millions of dollars Jobs -- who is said to be personally involved in the discussions -- will commit to an advance for the band and marketing costs."
As we learned Tuesday morning, it took another four years for the deal to be sealed and the Beatles' catalog to appear -- exclusively, as Arango suggested -- on the iTunes music store.
We don't know what finally broke the logjam [the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times offered some fresh details in Wednesday's editions]. But thanks to some of the parties' inability to keep mum, we have a pretty good record of the sticking points.
Putting their catalog on Apple's music store wouldn't make it a day I'd never forget
Billboard and the Wall Street Journal have stuck their necks out and reported that they know what's behind the teaser Apple (AAPL) posted on its website Monday morning. As the Journal put it:
"Apple Inc. is preparing to announce that its iTunes Store will soon start carrying music by the Beatles, according to people MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 15, 2010 8:18 PM ET
John Lennon's widow tells Reuters: "Don't hold your breath"
Apple (AAPL) settled its trademark dispute with Apple Corps, The Beatles' holding company in February 2007, clearing the way for one of the world's most commercially successful pop bands to put its catalog on iTunes, the world's largest music store.
Three years later, the three parties involved -- Apple, Apple Corps. and EMI, which holds the licensing rights -- have still not MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 6, 2010 7:06 AM ET
Last we checked, the full catalog of Beatles songs was supposed to be available for sale on the iTunes Store before the end of 2008.
Well, it's not happening this year, according to one of the band's two surviving members, and for all we know it may never happen.
"The last word I got back was it's stalled at the whole moment, the whole process," Paul McCartney told reporters gathered Monday for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2008 12:35 PM ET
Catching up on late week Apple (AAPL) news...
Beatles on iTunes in 2008. We've heard stories like it before, but this one has a twist. The London Evening Standard reported Saturday that Paul McCartney, who is said to be worth more than $1.65 billion, will begin releasing the Beatles catalog on iTunes in the coming months to help defray the $40 to $60 million it may cost him to get MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 8, 2008 10:23 AM ET
A few bits of Apple (AAPL) news worth noting:
Paul McCartney: "It's all happening soon," he told Billboard.com. "Most of us are all sort of ready. The whole thing is primed, ready to go -- there's just maybe one little sticking point left, and I think it's being cleared up as we speak, so it shouldn't be too long. It's down to fine-tuning. I'm pretty sure it'll be happening next MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 16, 2007 8:32 AM ET
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