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Beatles Music Enters Streaming Age

  • VOA News

FILE - The Beatles perform on CBS' "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York, Feb. 9, 1964.

FILE - The Beatles perform on CBS' "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York, Feb. 9, 1964.

Beatles fans are getting a special holiday gift: the Fab Four’s music streamed here, there and everywhere as of Christmas Eve.

The Beatles website announced the band’s back catalog of music would be released worldwide on nine streaming services as of Thursday, with a rolling start of 12:01 a.m. in each time zone. The deal grants streaming rights to 224 songs from the original 13 studio albums released in Britain, as well as from some "essential" collections.

Before disbanding in 1970, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star produced a canon of hits, such as "Love Me Do," "Hey Jude," "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yesterday."

The music has remained popular, but it wasn’t available digitally until Apple’s iTunes acquired rights five years ago. Otherwise, fans could access Beatles songs only via records, CDs and radio stations.

Streaming services have drawn the ire of artists such as Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks, who've complained of unfair payment systems.

The Beatles, as a corporate entity, had been a longtime holdout.

"We had expected they would probably do an exclusive deal to stream their music with one service, but it looks like instead they are going to be pretty much everywhere from Day One," Chris Cooke, co-founder of the music industry news site CMU, told the BBC. "So, I suppose that is them accepting that streaming is now a very serious, significant part of the record industry."

The Beatles' streaming partners include: Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Microsoft Groove, Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, Spotify and Tidal.

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