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Unique, lucrative licensing deal brought Beatles to Apple's iTunes

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
It reportedly took a one-of-a-kind deal in which the band is directly paid royalties from song sales to bring the entire digital catalog of The Beatles to iTunes.

Citing industry sources, Reuters reported Thursday that the parent company of The Beatles, Apple Corps, is receiving royalties directly for digital download sales via iTunes, while "songwriting mechanical royalties" are paid directly to Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

"That suggests the royalty split could be more lucrative for the Beatles than it would be under the typical provisions of a standard artist contract, which treat digital downloads as a retail sale," author Ed Christman wrote.

For "superstar artists," retail royalties are usually between 20 percent and 25 percent of revenue. On iTunes, that amounts to between 17 cents and 22.5 cents for a song that costs $1.29.

Sources reportedly indicated that Apple's deal with the Beatles could mean that label EMI has entered a "licensing pact" with iTunes, which would allow royalty payments to be made directly to the Beatles and Sony/ATV. The report noted that other major artists, like Cheap Trick and the Allman Brothers have attempted to argue in court that digital download sales should be treated as licensing deals rather than equivalent to retail purchases.

"In addition to a potentially more lucrative royalty rate, iTunes' direct payment of U.S. royalties to the Beatles and Sony/ATV would give the band greater accounting transparency over their iTunes sales than they would if EMI distributed the royalties," the report said.

After a long wait, the full catalog of The Beatles arrived on iTunes last November, hyped 24 hours in advance with a teaser on Apple's site that an "exciting announcement" was on the way. The arrival has been heavily promoted with display and television ads.

The arrival of The Beatles on iTunes was a long and difficult road, completed more than 7 years after the iTunes Store first began selling music. Apple and the Beatles' parent company, Apple Corp, were engaged in a trademark dispute for years, before it was finally settled in 2007.
post #2 of 36
and it was all made possible by Sir Paul's divorce
post #3 of 36
This really shows how much Steve Jobs loves the Beatles.

I bet this is a one and only arrangement with any group.

(I am sure Bono thought he was tight with Jobs before)
post #4 of 36
"Give me money, yeah, that's what I want!"

Finally, The Beatles are now good "businessmen" as wells great artists!-40 years later!

I remember, John arguing with Paul back in 1970...."we might as well be accountants!" said John!
post #5 of 36
I bet "oh no" Yoko, I mean Yoko Ono, drove this deal! She is pretty smart like that!
post #6 of 36
Having taken so long to get the Beatles' music onto iTunes, I doubt sales will be very high. Users, including myself, could simply import their CDs into iTunes. If so, the additional royalty compensation rate described in the report won't matter very much. It does give Apple a (minor?) marketing point for its devices.
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I bet "oh no" Yoko, I mean Yoko Ono, drove this deal! She is pretty smart like that!

Actually she is a cheap bitch and not that "smart" when it comes to deals like this. It's rather well known that Yoko Ono cost Paul from owning the Beatles catalog and while she "haggled" over price M.Jackson swooped in and bought it. Yes it's another reason Paul hates Yoko and it's quite extensively reported on. Paul was willing to pay the asking price (which MJ ended up paying), but yoko wanted to go in as a partner and swore up and down she could get a deal, it's her trying to low ball the price that lost Paul the rights to his music.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

Actually she is a cheap bitch and not that "smart" when it comes to deals like this. It's rather well known that Yoko Ono cost Paul from owning the Beatles catalog and while she "haggled" over price M.Jackson swooped in and bought it. Yes it's another reason Paul hates Yoko and it's quite extensively reported on. Paul was willing to pay the asking price (which MJ ended up paying), but yoko wanted to go in as a partner and swore up and down she could get a deal, it's her trying to low ball the price that lost Paul the rights to his music.

sony got a lot from Jackson but jackson modified his will so that the rest went back to paul. i think that is the case and paul now has more (but not all) of his music back.
supposedly jackson made 66 million a year from the beatles catalog he purchased back in the day!

well, looking into it more that all may be bullflop! not sure yet.
post #9 of 36
Funny thing about licensing is that Apple may have had very little to do with this. The core conflict has always been Sony and EMI, each of whom holds part of the various rights. It is possible that one or more parties wasn't willing to sign off an any digital deal over the way the sales were defined. Apple may not have really cared if it was called a sale or a broadcast because they are getting their cut either way. The only thing they may have had to thumbs up was cutting two checks rather than one and hoping the recording party paid everyone else the right amount

But had Sony and EMI not come to their agreement over the whole name issue, this would not have happened

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

This really shows how much Steve Jobs loves the Beatles.

I bet this is a one and only arrangement with any group.

(I am sure Bono thought he was tight with Jobs before)

Apple's role in the deal isn't the unique part - it's the way Sony and EMI are sharing the royalties that's noteworthy.
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

Having taken so long to get the Beatles' music onto iTunes, I doubt sales will be very high. Users, including myself, could simply import their CDs into iTunes. If so, the additional royalty compensation rate described in the report won't matter very much. It does give Apple a (minor?) marketing point for its devices.

450,000 albums sold during the first week of sales doesn't sound too bad to me!

http://www.etondigital.com/itunes-be...rks-its-magic/
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

Actually she is a cheap bitch and not that "smart" when it comes to deals like this. It's rather well known that Yoko Ono cost Paul from owning the Beatles catalog and while she "haggled" over price M.Jackson swooped in and bought it. Yes it's another reason Paul hates Yoko and it's quite extensively reported on. Paul was willing to pay the asking price (which MJ ended up paying), but yoko wanted to go in as a partner and swore up and down she could get a deal, it's her trying to low ball the price that lost Paul the rights to his music.

Interesting Adam. I didn't know that...I just knew she bought a dairy farm or something.

And yep Paul really got screwed on the rights to his songs..first by Brian Epstein and then again by Yoko! I thought her father was a financier and it sort of was in her genes! Oh Well!

Off topic: Speaking of fwd thinking people (not Epstein) Desi Arnez, Lucille Ball's husband was the first to negotiate a payment for residuals! Now that is fwd thinking!

I may have this wrong but William Holden was the first to ask for a percentage of the gross for a film. A little film called Bridge over the river Kwai! Again, I may have that wrong!

Best.
post #13 of 36
Wow if that's true about MJ willing the rights back to Paul...what a magnanimous gesture on MJ's part!
post #14 of 36
Uh, might want to check the batteries in your calculator, 20 to 25% of $1.29 is not 17 to 22.5 cents........
post #15 of 36
We all figured it took a little extra something to get the fab four on iTunes.

If Paul doesn't learn the joys of prenups, his tunes might eventually be owned by a 29 year old cocktail waitress.
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

We all figured it took a little extra something to get the fab four on iTunes.

If Paul doesn't learn the joys of prenups, his tunes might eventually be owned by a 29 year old cocktail waitress.

Funny, Bugs. Talking about rock stars and prenups!

I remember Rod Stewart being asked what he was up to on a talk show....And he said, "I dunno I may just buy the next girl I meet a house!"

Paul did handle that divorce well...he was given great advice from his female attorney and that was not saying anything deleterious about his wife in public. Usually the husband always comes off looking like an ogre and the wife looking like an doe-eyed innocent! But in this case Paul, for his whole life has always looked like Bambi! Although, he is starting to look a little like Angela Lansberry.

She did get $50 mil though!
post #17 of 36
Off Topic....I was driving home from Tucson, AZ to my home in Phoenix one evening. I had the top down, the heat on and the radio on. It was a cold clear desert evening and it looked as though you could see every star.

Without any intro, Paul McCartney's 20 second song, Lovely Linda came on. A song you never hear on the radio....and I knew, right then, Linda had passed away. I thought it was so classy of the station to do that. And then there was a little bit of silence but still no mention or words from the DJ.

Made me cry!

FYI: for those of you who don't know they had a ranch in Tucson and that is where she chose to spend her last days. Also, in the '70's Paul just bashed that song out while setting his recording equipment up. What a talent!

Anyway back on topic...glad the Beatles are on iTunes
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

and it was all made possible by Sir Paul's divorce

He waited until after the divorce so Heather won't be able to squeeze anymore money out of him.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

(I am sure Bono thought he was tight with Jobs before)

Definitely not after the crap Elevation Partners pulled with Palm, it's Pre and iTunes music syncing!
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

Definitely not after the crap Elevation Partners pulled with Palm, it's Pre and iTunes music syncing!

I wonder if Bono uses a BB or an iPhone? I'm betting an iPhone!
post #21 of 36
"The arrival of The Beatles on iTunes was a long and difficult road,"

But was it winding?
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Off Topic....I was driving home from Tucson, AZ to my home in Phoenix one evening. I had the top down, the heat on and the radio on. It was a cold clear desert evening and it looked as though you could see every star.

Without any intro, Paul McCartney's 20 second song, Lovely Linda came on. A song you never here on the radio....and I knew Linda had passed away. I thought it was so classy of the station to do that. And then there was a little bit of silence but still no mention or words from the DJ.

Made me cry!

FYI: for those of you who don't know they had a ranch in Tucson and that is where she chose to spend her last days. Also, in the '70's Paul just bashed that song out while setting his recording equipment up. What a talent!

Anyway back on topic...glad the Beatles are on iTunes

nice post

nice that the world can now feel the love of the beatles music
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

"The arrival of The Beatles on iTunes was a long and difficult road,"

But was it winding?

grrr you beat me to it ...
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Wow if that's true about MJ willing the rights back to Paul...what a magnanimous gesture on MJ's part!

I suspect it's an old internet leg pull sadly.

http://news-briefs.ew.com/2009/07/08...ackson-rights/
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by centerpunch View Post

Uh, might want to check the batteries in your calculator, 20 to 25% of $1.29 is not 17 to 22.5 cents........

It's 20 to 25% of what the label gets from Apple - said to be 90 cents for a $1.29 song. So the 17 to 22.5 cents figure is right.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

Actually she is a cheap bitch and not that "smart" when it comes to deals like this. It's rather well known that Yoko Ono cost Paul from owning the Beatles catalog and while she "haggled" over price M.Jackson swooped in and bought it. Yes it's another reason Paul hates Yoko and it's quite extensively reported on. Paul was willing to pay the asking price (which MJ ended up paying), but yoko wanted to go in as a partner and swore up and down she could get a deal, it's her trying to low ball the price that lost Paul the rights to his music.

I don't know if what you say is true, but what also happened is that McCartney told Michael Jackson that he was about to buy back the rights to the Beatles songs, and Jackson then went out behind Paul's back and bought them first.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I suspect it's an old internet leg pull sadly.

http://news-briefs.ew.com/2009/07/08...ackson-rights/

Yep, D. You're probably right!
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

I don't know if what you say is true, but what also happened is that McCartney told Michael Jackson that he was about to buy back the rights to the Beatles songs, and Jackson then went out behind Paul's back and bought them first.

E. That's how I remember it, too! Oh well. Paulie needs to write a memoir and make another billion and let's hear the truth about Yoko...my guess she was jealous of the hold over John that Paul had and He never really knew or used it!
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

nice post

nice that the world can now feel the love of the beatles music

Thanks B. It was a really moving experience! BTW it's one of my favorite songs!

Nice of you to say!

Best

PS. Where exactly, are the, "Methane seas of Neptune?" Neptune, right?
post #30 of 36
This is a big who cares story! I don't know why Steve Jobs cares so much about this.
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

I don't know if what you say is true, but what also happened is that McCartney told Michael Jackson that he was about to buy back the rights to the Beatles songs, and Jackson then went out behind Paul's back and bought them first.

I heard MJ asked Paul what he should invest his money in. Paul said song rights. I'm pretty sure that's true.
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

This is a big who cares story! I don't know why Steve Jobs cares so much about this.

They're the biggest selling music group ever. Some may not be interested but to not recognize it's worth is silly.
post #33 of 36
That kind of happened after Apple gave Fred Anderson the boot and pinned the whole back dating scandal on him. Anderson was Elevation Partners CEO or something to that effect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

Definitely not after the crap Elevation Partners pulled with Palm, it's Pre and iTunes music syncing!
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

Having taken so long to get the Beatles' music onto iTunes, I doubt sales will be very high. Users, including myself, could simply import their CDs into iTunes. If so, the additional royalty compensation rate described in the report won't matter very much. It does give Apple a (minor?) marketing point for its devices.

Jesus Christ, are you serious?

The Beatles took over the top spots in iTunes album sales for several weeks after the launch.

Same deal with Michael Jackson. The people who said, "No one will buy this; all the MJ fans have already acquired the songs" were completely wrong.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Jesus Christ, are you serious?

The Beatles took over the top spots in iTunes album sales for several weeks after the launch.

Same deal with Michael Jackson. The people who said, "No one will buy this; all the MJ fans have already acquired the songs" were completely wrong.

Yes I am, and thanks for calling me Jesus Christ
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It reportedly took a one-of-a-kind deal in which the band is directly paid royalties from song sales to bring the entire digital catalog of The Beatles to iTunes.

"That suggests the royalty split could be more lucrative for the Beatles than it would be under the typical provisions of a standard artist contract, which treat digital downloads as a retail sale," author Ed Christman wrote.

"In addition to a potentially more lucrative royalty rate, iTunes' direct payment of U.S. royalties to the Beatles and Sony/ATV would give the band greater accounting transparency over their iTunes sales than they would if EMI distributed the royalties," the report said.


So for all the social ills, the power of "the man", and protests and causes that they either wrote songs about or used their fame towards, when all was said and sung, the bottom line was M.O.N.E.Y.! Look at all the beguiled dolts, myself included, who believed and hyped them as something they were not. In the end, they were and still are just out for the buck!

Talented? Absolutely!

Entertaining? You bet!

Hypocrites? Apparently!

Kind of takes the wind out of your sail. Wonder how much John got paid by the non-military complex for his bed-sleep-in with Yoko to protest the war?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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