updated 06:15 pm EST, Mon November 15, 2010
Beatles said locked for iTunes
The Beatles will be the center of Apple's iTunes news on Tuesday, a major leak may have confirmed today. Talks running as late as last week between Apple, the Beatles and EMI should have Apple announcing that the band's catalog will "soon" be on Apple's store. The WSJ sources didn't discover the conditions and whether it would be an iTunes exclusive for now, though neither Amazon nor other major stores have mentioned the news.
None of the involved companies have confirmed the deal, but Billboard magazine has said it has its own reasons to believe a deal is in place. Music industry sources that normally would rejected the idea of a deal have grown silent, and other reasons have also come up, the trade publication said.
Yoko Ono has lately tried to downplay expectations for a deal, but both Apple and the group have been eager to negotiate a deal since the end of the trademark dispute between Apple Corps and Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.). Among the problems have been catalog ownership split between labels, the desire to wait on last year's remastering of the collection and even Sir Paul McCartney's divorce from Heather Mills.
Early inroads into digital have shown signs that the group has been moving to digital, as it got its music into Beatles: Rock Band and self-published a USB drive with the collection. Apple also had an indirect overlap as its well-known iPhone introduction at Macworld 2007 saw it use the Beatles catalog frequently for samples. Company CEO Steve Jobs has readily identified himself as a Beatles fan.
A chance exists that the deal could fall apart at the last minute, the rumor suggested, though this isn't likely now that Apple has committed itself to news on Tuesday.