Apple traditionally creates big news at this time of year with the launch of a new product or operating system designed to up the bar. The big news last week was the availability of the Beatles back catalogue on iTunes. Most articles (and Facebook posts) I read at the time found this announcement distinctly underwhelming. There were three main streams of criticism: 1. Who is going to buy that stuff? (Anyone who loves the Beatles will already own it on CD and will have already uploaded it onto their iTunes) 2. The quality of the music demands a higher quality format than iTunes (again, real Beatles fans will reject the iTunes format) 3. The iTunes prices were inflated...in some cases double the price of an actual CD (certainly the case on the UK iTunes store) I predicted that this would be massive for Apple (and the Beatles) - what about all those millions of Boomers who may have owned a Beatles back catalogue on vinyl? What about a generation of new listeners who are just discovering the timeless beauty of Something or My Guitar Gently Weeps and aren't music snobs worried about super awesome sound quality? There aren't many people who aren't Beatles fans. Even if you own 1 album or 1 greatest hits disc...all of a sudden there's the whole back catalogue a couple of clicks away. News just in - iTunes reports downloads of Beatles 450,000 albums and 2 million individual songs in their worldwide iTunes stores in the first WEEK? How do you like them Apples?
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