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Rock Band beats iTunes to Beatles tracks

updated 01:00 am EDT, Thu October 30, 2008

Rock Band gets Beatles

The Beatles are allegedly making their first stride into digital licensing, according to inside information obtained by The Wall Street Journal, which says Apple Corps is considering releasing tracks for Rock Band. Apple Corps has been notorious for keeping the prized, history-making albums away from digital formats, most famously in response to repeated conflicts with Apple Inc, over the usage of the iconic fruit logos both companies use.

The move, should it prove true, would be momentous, since it demonstrates priorities for the big players in the industry, opting to release the tracks in a video game before opening them to electronic distribution. It also represents the music industry's desire to pick up sagging sales, which it habitually blames on music piracy. This can be tricky, however, since the target age group for the Beatles' music is not necessarily the same as individuals who typically own gaming consoles.

It is also important to note that this would give Rock Band a gigantic leg-up on the Guitar Hero franchise, which it is constantly fighting with over music rights and exclusives. The Guitar Hero series has made three times the revenue of Rock Band, but is currently competing evenly with the Rock Band series. Guitar Hero has also existed for two years longer, with seven titles to date, versus Rock Band's two.

While Viacom does not explicitly recognize Rock Band revenue, during the game's first half-year of existence, the company's media networks saw $639 million in ancillary revenue, an increase of 67 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Apple Corps has been experiencing conflicts with Apple Inc. over its logo usage, with the wounds opened fresh in recent years, as Apple introduced - and succeeded with - the iPod, muddying the waters of its agreement to stay out of the music industry. While still far from resolved, Sir Paul McCartney said he expects The Beatles music to hit iTunes before the end of this year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This would be about licensing - in effect - song cards, not music. This has nothing to do with iTunes or any other music service.

  1. imactheknife

    Joined: Dec 1969



    the conflict is over ya tool...thats why itunes will have the beatles. Apple corp would have had to pay Apple Inc's legal fee's as well as thier own after losing that last round a few years back. Get your facts right...idiot.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I still dont understand why such a has been is being so hard and difficult. I mean, when you're dead, you don't argue when someone wants to give you exposure. The Beatles...uhh...who are they again? Right....once the 60s generation dies out...who are are they again? Exactly...

  1. benj

    Joined: Dec 1969



    BLOOMINGDALES beats 'em both:

    uh sort of...

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    jarod the culture fool

    so everything in past doesn't matter does this apply to movies, tv, books, jazz, R&B, Beethoven? You are some a dimwit. The Beatles music is part of our culture and future generation will enjoy it especially those that actually cultured.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Their loss

    Apple Corps (or should that read Corpse) have done nothing but hurt themselves by not jumping on the iTunes bandwagon. Sure they'll sell a ton of copies anytime they jump onboard and probably get a penny or two more from each copy out of Apple Inc, but if they'd joined up earlier they would have been earning interest all this time on their sales. Just another case of short-sighted greed hazing long-term vision.

  1. Kohlerslave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe when you learn punctuation and grammar, people will take what you say seriously.

  1. Double_UK

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Apple Corps has been notorious for keeping the prized, history-making albums away from digital formats"

    Right. AIFF is not a digital format.

    Wait a minute...

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still Relevant


    Yeah, it's a bummer that all my favorite composers from the 1660's died long ago. I just can't get over it.

    The Beatles remain relevant even nearly 40 years since their break-up. My friends' teenage kids and their friends know all the Beatles songs by heart (like we all did when we were kids) and keep them on their iPods next to music from now. They don't differentiate.

    So, it's a big deal if and when the Beatles™ finally decide to license the original recordings. I've heard quite a few commercials with Betles coers as jingles, but this is different. So, eventually they'll probably end up on iTunes.

    It's a bit late, though. I ripped all my Beatles CDs long ago, not that I listten to them very often, but it's comforting to know they're there.

  1. devospice

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why do so many people care when the Beatles' music comes to iTunes? It's not like their music isn't available in every other format ever released and is really hard to find.

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