For the first time ever, music listeners will be able to enjoy the Beatles on popular streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. The streaming services will feature all 13 original Beatles albums, giving fans full access to the material from the tremendously popular 1960s pop group.
The Beatles were one of the biggest names left to resist the practice of online streaming. Many artists have criticized the practice, as it provides them with less revenue than when compared to album sales. But with consumers often choosing to stream music online instead of purchasing it, artists have started getting involved to increase their sales.
In 2014, subscription and advertising-supported streaming produced more than $2 billion in global sales. This represented nearly a third of all sales of digital music that year.
The Beatles have traditionally been resistant to selling digital music. In fact, the material from the British group was not available on Apple’s iTunes until 2010, considerably behind that of other popular artists.
Market analyst Mark Milligan said, “The Beatles catalog has always been late to the party, But the Beatles are a unique proposition. They can afford to set their own terms, their own timetable.”
Since 1999, sales of physical albums have been in decline, and streaming has grown larger. In 2011, streaming services accounted for about 10% of all music sales. During the first half of 2015, online streaming represented about 32% of all music sales in the United States. This has largely made up for the decline in purchases of CDs and digital singles. Streaming services have since surpassed the sales of physical copies.
However, some big name artists such as Taylor Swift and Adele have refused to get on board. Despite this, streaming services have continued to flourish. Between May of 2014 and June of 2015, Spotify doubled its number of subscribers. The streaming service currently has more than 75 million users across the globe.
While the Beatles will be available under the free services of Spotify, the group can also be heard on paid services such as Microsoft Groove, Napster, Amazon Prime Music, Slacker Radio and Tidal.