Despite widespread rumors to the contrary, Apple has denied all claims that the Beatles catalog is set to be made available through the company’s iTunes platform. A spokesman even called the claim “unsubstantiated speculation.”
The rumors claimed that sources close to Sir Paul McCartney had confirmed that a deal had been made for the Beatles catalog to become available through iTunes in a “few months” but has so far been denied by EMI and Apple Corps, the Beatles’ own label.
The Beatles’ catalog, certain to be a gigantic hit when it becomes digital, has been delayed for years over a simple trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and the label Apple Corps.. The case was resolved in early 2007 and many had hoped that would be the last hurdle.
McCartney himself added fuel to the fire last year when he said in an interview that the catalog becoming digital was inevitable. “It’s down to fine-tuning, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be happening next year, 2008.”
Result for: apple corps
Confirming reports published yesterday, The Beatles, MTV and Harmonix have jointly announced that they will be collaborating on a “brand new videogame featuring the music of the iconic Beatles” and will be out in time for the holidays 2009.
Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos added the game will be a “new, full-blown custom game title production built from the ground up”. This won’t be a special one band branded game like Aerosmith had with Guitar Hero however, it will be a whole new game.
Jeff Jones, CEO of Apple Corps, noted that the catalog would include songs from the entire run of The Beatles. It also appears the game will work with peripherals from Rock Band as well as Guitar Hero.
“We want to take players on an experiential journey through the band’s history,” he said. “A visual exploration of the Beatles’ imagery is a big part of this project,” Rigopulos said. “With apologies…there’s very little that we’re ready to say about the game itself.”
MTV Networks president Van Toffler added, “We’re going to provide the ultimate platform for new generations of fans to start their own love affair with the Beatles”. Van Toffler also noted that the song of George Martin, Giles Martin, would be doing music production for the game.
“The thing that we’re trying to keep to is for people to play the songs as though they’re playing the originals. So we will be adhering to the original mixes my father and the Beatles did, and trying to preserve the sound quality as much as possible,” said Martin.
Result for: apple corps
According to a new report published in the Financial Times, the Beatles are currently in discussions with both Activision and MTV in an effort to bring licensing for the band’s music to video games, most notably Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
The sources imply that any deal would be worth “several million dollars” and that the licensing deal could be struck within a matter of weeks or months.
One possible hurdle for the deal is that it needs to be approved by EMI who owns the master recordings for the band. Apple Corps will also need to sign off as they are in charge of the Beatles business interests.
Apple has been very selective with expanding licensing for the band and currently there are no authorized digital recordings of the Beatles available online.