Beatles fans can finally enjoy their music through streaming as the band’s entire back catalogue becomes available from today.
All 13 remastered studio albums and four compilations are being launched on nine services, including Apple Music, Sspotify, Napster and Amazon Prime Music.
The Beatles, one of the most high-profile acts to shun streaming services, lifted their apparent boycott five years after their music appeared on iTunes for the first time.
The move from the publishers of the iconic Liverpudlian band’s music comes less than six months after heavy metal favourites AC/DC made their albums available on streaming services.
The decision over The Beatles back catalogue was announced on a festive front cover of the band’s official website, alongside a message stating: “Happy crimble, with love from us to you.”
It comes at a time when major stars like Adele and Taylor Swift have rebelled against streaming. Swift famously withdrew her entire back catalogue from Spotify last year, saying: “Music is art, and art is important and rare.
“Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.”
Earlier this week Adele told Time magazine: “I know that streaming music is the future, but it’s not the only way to consume music.
“I can’t pledge allegiance to something that I don’t know how I feel about yet.”
Napster’s chief financial officer Ethan Rudin said: “The Beatles are the most iconic band in music history and their catalogue is the #1 request from our subscribers around the world. We’re able to fulfil that request just in time for families around the world to enjoy together over the holidays.”
Chris Cooke, co-founder of the music industry news site CMU, said: “In terms of digital, the Beatles have always been quite late to the party – they came to iTunes in 2010, which was a good five years after the iTunes Music Store started gaining momentum.
“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. So, I suppose that is them accepting that streaming is now a very serious, significant part of the record industry.”
Music industry analysist Mark Mulligan, from the research firm Midia, said: “There’s a really simply reason why the Beatles catalogue took so long to join streaming services – their publishers didn’t want to do anything to damage potential sales of reissues and retrospectives – it’s a very lucrative catalogue.
“But they’ve waited until the market has got some scale and they could get the best deal.
“It’s a big PR catch as it helps communicate that the platforms are ‘all the music in the world’ – which is the value proposition of streaming services.”
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr clocked up 17 number one singles in the British charts as The Beatles between 1963 and 1970, the year they band split.
A new statue of the “Fab Four” was unveiled in Liverpool earlier this mont to mark the 50th anniversary of their final appearance in their home city, at the Empire Theatre.