Beatles May Get Their Own Music Download Store

from the can-they-get-their-own-format-too? dept

People have pointed out in the past that one of the major limitations to online download music stores is the fact that certain popular artists have not allowed their music to be (legally) offered online yet. Exhibit number one is always the Beatles. Well, now it appears that the Beatles are finally warming up to the idea, but only if someone is willing to pay them lots and lots and lots of money for the right to set up an exclusive Beatles store. That's right, the music wouldn't be available in just any download store, but a Beatles-only music store that would be run by some other company. While the article mentions Apple iTunes as a possibility, this seems unlikely unless the Beatles and Apple patch up their legal problems first. Either way, this points out just how ridiculous all these different online stores are. Would the Beatles have ever become famous if you could only buy their music in exclusive Beatles-only record stores, which would then only play on special Beatles-only record players, that had all sorts of limitations on what you could do compared to other music you owned? The Beatles may have been great musicians, but they now appear to be greedy and shortsighted in their attempt to move into the online world.

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  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 8 Jun 2004 @ 2:53pm

    Who owns the Beatles?

    I thought the Beatles sold off the rights to their music a long time ago.

    Didn't Michael Jackson try to buy it all up at one time?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2004 @ 5:14pm

      Re: Who owns the Beatles?

      Isn't it possible that this will make the Beatles a whole hell of a lot more money than doing it the way that would make sense to you and me (i.e. through iTunes or what have you)? And, if so, doesn't that make it a good business decision for them? They're not a struggling new artist, it's probably financially better for them to do it their way at the risk of not making as many new fans, since, well, the Beatles probably can't really get and don't need too many new fans.


      Even though it's awkward for us, it seems to make good business sense for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mike (profile), 8 Jun 2004 @ 5:37pm

        Re: Who owns the Beatles?

        By pissing off all of their fans? I'm not sure I understand your point...

        If they make it *easy* and *convenient* to get their music, they're more likely to sell more than if they make it difficult. By demanding a huge upfront fee, they're basically saying they have no faith that their music will sell and can stand on its own, so they need a big upfront fee.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Jeremiah, 9 Jun 2004 @ 1:55am

          Re: Who owns the Beatles?

          Mike:

          Just about anybody that's going to own a Beatles recording already does. The availability of thier catalog on iTunes or anywhere else is of little issue to their "fans" as fans already own copies of Beatles records, and are apparently just fine with CD's and LP's.

          By asking for a big, upfront fee, the Beatles are saying that their catalog is going to translate to boffo $$$'s for whomever they license to, and whoever it is better pony up big time. As they should.

          And it's already "easy and convenient" to get their music; you do remember record stores, yes?!?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            eeyore, 9 Jun 2004 @ 5:27am

            Re: Who owns the Beatles?

            Wrong. New listeners discover old music all the time. My sister was a huge Beatles fan in high school even though it was ten years after they broke up that she first heard them. She bought at least a dozen albums in high school. If she'd had to special order them from a company that exclusively sold Beatles albums at a higher cost than other albums she probably wouldn't have bought them and instead would have recorded somebody else's.

            For that matter I purchased my first Beatles album a few years back when they released their collection of #1 hits. I was never a big fan of theirs but the collection had quite a few songs I liked. If it had cost substantially more than other CDs available at the time I wouldn't have purchased it.

            Also for that matter my wife who is younger than me is a huge Frank Sinatra fan. He did all his best work before she was even born. And I have a coworker who is a huge Elvis fan and was only about five when he died. So don't assume that an artist won't or can't ever attract new fans. The great ones always do. Otherwise no one would listen to classical music.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2004 @ 9:33am

              Subsidizing Mchela Jackson's child moletations

              What a big snore. A store full of washed up songs from the 60's. WOOPEE !

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2004 @ 4:56pm

                Re: Subsidizing Mchela Jackson's child moletations

                What do you mean "by pissing off all their fans"?

                Honestly, what percentage of their fans will ever even find out they have any sort of "internet" store, let alone have any kind of opinion about its existance, let alone a negative one.

                What do you think, roughly, is the percentage of Beatles fans that would be pissed off? I'm going to go with very low single digits

                The point is that the beatles sold and still sell so much music that they don't need to bother with doing things the "right" way. They can make a whole lot more money doing this from the up-front fee, which will more than offset the tiny little chunk of money they stand to lose by aggravating you and I and maybe my upstairs neighbor Kevin, who will either refuse to shop at a Beatles-only store out of principle or find it so inconvenient that they will take their online music-buying business somewhere else and get the new Beastie Boys song (they've got a new one, right?).

                Surely, it doesn't make sense in the grand scheme of things and makes more problems for everyone else. But for the Beatles, it makes excellent financial sense, I think.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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