Published December 19th 2015
The Beatles song catalog has always been a hot commodity. Remember, it was at the heart of a beef between Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson?
The two seemed so friendly recording duets, but when Michael Jackson managed to buy the rights to the Beatles songs, right from under Paul McCartney, the friendship turned to a feud.
It made Michael Jackson very rich. He had bought ATV, the publishing company that housed the rights to the biggest Beatles hits, for $47.5 million, which is now expected to be worth $2 billion. It generates about $1.5 billion gross revenue each year. The Michael Jackson estate still owns 50% of Sony/ATV.
As “yesterday” as you may think The Beatles could be, their songs are still in demand, and the people owning the songs know it!
Absent in streaming services
In 2011, iTunes managed to strike a deal with Apple Corp, owned by former Beatles members, and Sony/ATV in order to offer the full The Beatles catalog for digital download. However, the Beatles songs have been notably absent from streaming services.
Over the years, it came to light that Apple Corp was not completely unwilling to start streaming Beatles music, but negotiations with parties so far had just not worked out. Only Pandora managed to be able to offer the Beatles under a license for online radio.
“Hey Jude” to be available for streaming Dec. 24th
Billboard magazine reported yesterday that a deal seems to be coming together that should make all the Beatles albums available to either one major or all streaming services in the week of Christmas. They have reason to believe that “Hey Jude” will be the first song to be available for streaming on December 24th 2015.
To this date, The Beatles are reported to have sold over 600 million albums. In 2014, the Beatles still earned a collective $71 million.
Even though streaming is known for its low earnings, it does allow earnings per play, which for major artists could still add up.