Apple announced a deal with representatives of the Beatles and the group’s record label, EMI Group, to put the entire catalog of Beatles music in the iTunes Store.
For years, The Fab Four have been the most notable holdout from selling their collective digital music in Apple’s popular iTunes store even though solo recordings by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are already available.
“We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes,” band member Sir Paul McCartney said in a statement. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”
The deal covers the band’s 13 original studio albums and special box sets. Individual songs cost $1.29, most albums are priced at $12.99 and double albums, such as “Past Masters,” cost $19.99. The popular “White Album” also costs $19.99.
The Beatles’ inclusion in the iTunes store will also put additional pressure on AC/DC, Bob Seger and Kid Rock, all of whom have continued to withhold their music from the online store.
The Beatles-iTunes agreement will also strengthen the iTunes catalog, which has come to symbolize the importance of music to Apple’s corporate identity as it has grown from a niche computer maker. The iPod helped bring digital music to the mainstream, simplifying music purchases while spurring an ecosystem of speakers and other accessories. As the iPod grew to dominate the digital music player market, iTunes became the largest music retailer in the U.S. Since it opened 2003, more than 10 billion songs have been sold on iTunes worldwide.