Many are sitting around enjoying their holiday treats while listening to the Beatles on their favorite on-demand streaming service, and the press is treating this as a breakthrough – usually omitting the fact that the Beatles have been available on many streaming services for as long as there have been streaming services, namely on Internet radio. We’ve twice written about this fact, first when the Beatles became available on iTunes, here, and then on the 50th anniversary of their invasion of America, here. And we also recently wrote about the same legal issues which explained why Adele could withhold her new recording “25” from many streaming services, but not from Internet radio. With the Beatles back in the headlines, for some post-Christmas holiday reading, we thought that we would reprise our 2014 article about the Beatles long absence from on-demand streaming services. Here it is:
50 years ago the Beatles invaded America, stacking up Number 1 hit records by the dozens, and creating music that, even today, remains incredibly popular with many Americans. But go to many of the interactive or on-demand music services, like Spotify, and search for Beatles music, and what will you find? Mostly cover tunes by sound-alike bands rather than the original hits. But yet, on services where you can’t designate your next song, like Pandora, you can hear the original songs. Why the difference?