Apple & EMI to Announce Possible Beatles Deal

By Richard Menta 4/1/07

When EMI sent out a press teaser Sunday announcing an "exciting new digital offering" to be unveiled today in London a spokesman had to confirm that this was not an April Fools prank. That’s because the special guest for this event is none other that Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who will join EMI boss Eric Nicoli for the grand unveiling of something presumably big. Could this be the long-anticipated announcement that Apple has finally acquired the Beatles catalog for iTunes? The media invite said the event will include a special live performance by an unnamed artist, but no one has confirmed if the performance will be by one of the surviving members of that group.

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Needless to say the press is abuzz with the potential Beatles connection. The only news that would be bigger would be that Apple has acquired EMI – a notion that is not far fetched, as it would give Apple control of a massive legacy music library to ensure iTunes will always have major label fare. But bringing the Beatles to iTunes in an exclusive deal has been rumored for a while and is the most probable scenario for tomorrow.

Of course, the music of the Fab Four has been freely available on the Net since the original Napster, so if true this is more a big press opp for the two companies than anything of real consequence for consumers. We’re sure Beatles downloads will sell extremely well when and if they do appear, but it is nothing big enough to save EMI from its recent financial woes.

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