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Beatles on iTunes (Finally)

Since the iTunes platform has been out on the market, a lot of people have fallen in love with it since it has made their listening experience more convenient and enjoyable. Most people consider iTunes the best music management system to date. It could have dominated the media center to an even greater extent but for one thing—you could not find any Beatle song in their inventory. Until recently, the Beatles were completely absent from the iTunes lineup; this was due to the clash between the two “apples”: Apple and Apple Corps, which began in the sixties, decades before the iTunes was even manufactured for commercial use. Mid-November of this year, it was announced that The Beatles could be found in the iTunes Store (finally). So let’s dig deeper into the events of the past 50 years to understand how this happened.

International Fame

Before The Beatles came to fame, they were a regular band playing jazz music somewhere in England. Their manager, Brian Epstein, started to promote his band to recording companies hoping to get the break in 1962. The band ended up signing a contract under Parlophone Records, a small EMI company.

It was during this time that the band’s drummer, Pete Best, was fired. It was also the year when The Beatles started recording for Parlophone Records. Riding a wave of “Beatlemania”, the band toured internationally until 1966; a year later, their manager died. The years that followed paved the way to Apple Corps, the Beatles’ own recording company.

The Clash Began

Beginning 1968, Apple Corps launched several albums including their self-titled album, “The Beatles”, sharing credit with other recording companies such as EMI and Parlophone. The albums “Yellow Submarine” and “Let it Be” were also released, but this time with nobody else to share credit with. From that point on, while Apple Corps continued to produce albums, it also explored other businesses like music publishing and film production.

Due to unpaid royalties, Apple Corps sued EMI and Capitol Records several times since the seventies. It also filed charges against Apple Inc, the computer manufacturer, for trademark infringement and court settlements violation.

A decade later, an agreement not to meddle with each other’s line of business was signed between Apple Corps and Apple Computer. At this time, Apple Computer did not have the technology to allow its users to listen to music – radio and records were the sole delivery points for Beatles music. In 1989, Apple computer started developing computers that included a digital music interface. This prompted Apple Corps to sue Apple Computer again, claiming breached of the 1981 agreement.

The Dispute Settlement

It was only in 2007 that both parties came together to settle their dispute once and for all, four years after Apple computer launched iTunes which dominated the downloadable media market. The settlement with Apple Corps came as good news to The Beatles fans that were hoping to see them in iTunes. The much acclaimed settlement was decades in the making, and thanks to cooler heads prevailing on both sides of the equation, we can now get the music of The Beatles on iTunes.

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

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